Fri 29 Aug 2014 | 09:27
Hunt and O'Connor unveiled in Red
Fri 29 Aug 2014 | 09:27
Hunt and O'Connor unveiled in RedSHARE
The worst kept secret in Australian was confirmed by the ARU with former Rugby League and AFL star Karmichael Hunt joining the Reds for a three year contract.
Hunt, who has signed a deal through until the end of 2017, was formally announced at the Queensland Reds Gala Ball alongside James O’Connor as two new marquee signings for the club next season.
Hunt follows Israel Folau to become the second athlete to play in three professional football codes in Australia – Rugby League, AFL and Rugby Union.
Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said Hunt’s move has been supported by the ARU and will provide plenty of interest for fans.
“We’re delighted that an athlete of Karmichael’s calibre has chosen to play Rugby – a game he’s familiar with and a game that we’re confident will allow him to excite fans with his abilities on the field and profile off it,” Pulver said.
“We’ve seen Israel Folau adapt quickly to Rugby and we expect Karmichael to do the same.
“His immediate focus will be on gaining selection for the Reds, and we look forward to tracking his progress throughout next season and beyond.”
Hunt’s professional career includes winning a National Rugby League Premiership with the Brisbane Broncos and representing Queensland in State of Origin and Australia in 2006, before making his AFL debut for the Gold Coast Suns in 2011.
Hunt’s involvement in the 15 man code includes playing at Anglican Church Grammar School and also as a member of the Queensland Schools representative team in 2002.
He also played a season for Biarritz in the French Top 14 competition, where he scored a try in the European Cup Final.
O’Connor returns to Australia with a desire to add to his 44 Wallabies Test caps after a short stint in European Rugby.
Pulver said Australian Rugby welcomes O’Connor back to play domestically, following his decision to return to his home State of Queensland to re-start his Super Rugby career.
“We are pleased James has made the decision to return to Rugby in Australia.
"He is a player who has a huge amount of potential on the field and I’m sure he’s excited about the opportunity being presented to him by the Queensland Reds,” he said.
Reds Squad for 2015 : Ben Daley, Saia Fainga’a, James Slipper, James Hanson, Greg Holmes, Andrew Ready, Dave McDuling, Ed O’Donoghue, Rob Simmons, James Horwill, Curtis Browning, Lalo Fakaosilea, Liam Gill, Eddie Quirk, Beau Robinson, Jake Schatz, Hendrik Tui, Quade Cooper, Nick Frisby, Will Genia, Duncan Paia-aua, Anthony Fainga’a, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Samu Kerevi, Ben Tapuai, Karmichael Hunt, Chris Kuridrani, James O’Connor, Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, Lachie Turner.