Hunt phone call may have swayed Folau - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hunt phone call may have swayed Folau

By Laine Clark 01/06/2010 01:15:21 PM Comments (0)

A phone call from code hopper Karmichael Hunt appears to have finally convinced Israel Folau to follow his former Broncos teammate into AFL.

Hunt has revealed that he spoke with Folau on Monday as the Broncos superstar mulled over the biggest decision of his career - staying in the NRL or taking up a lucrative AFL deal.

Just hours later, Team GWS called a media conference to reveal that Folau had accepted a three-year deal understood to be worth more than $1 million per year to play for the AFL newcomers, who enter the competition in 2012.

"I spoke to him last night, he just wanted my advice on a few things, that's about it," Hunt said on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.

"He will be great (in AFL). He is a talented footballer (with) all the attributes to make a successful transition."

After being officially welcomed by GCFC on Monday, Hunt got straight to work on Tuesday holding a clinic at a Gold Coast school as the AFL franchise looked to capitalise on their big-money signing.

Hunt is reportedly on a three year deal worth $3 million, similar money to Folau's offer.

In comparison, the Broncos reportedly could only dangle a $500,000 a season contract in front of Folau.

But Hunt did not believe his code switch - and the imminent signing of Folau - should be a wake-up call for the NRL.

"I don't think it rings alarm bells (for the NRL) - there are plenty of talented kids coming through that are willing to step and be counted," he said.

"Just because there is the prospect of Izzy going and I have gone, it doesn't mean they need to do anything different."

While calls have already begun for Folau to be snubbed by Origin selectors, Hunt said he did not believe the Broncos star should be punished for his imminent switch.

"Not at all. I don't see what repercussions there should be - he is still a Bronco," he said.

"If he decides to go it doesn't mean he is going to play below his ability - he is not that type of guy."

Hunt - who may make his debut for the Gold Coast in the VFL as early as June 12 - was also not fazed by Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss' criticism of the money being thrown at NRL stars.

Voss said it was "ridiculous" the former league fullback would be paid more than current AFL stars and believed more should be invested into junior programs.

"I have a lot of respect for Vossy, I used to watch him when I was a youngster," Hunt said.

"He is still an idol of mine - whatever comments he wants to make it is entirely up to him."

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