Thursday, December 10, 2009
Former Brisbane Broncos NRL star Karmichael Hunt, who severed his ties with rugby league earlier this year, is now playing union with Biarritz in France. Still getting used to the game, he recently showed that not all cross-code transitions go completely without hiccups.
Hunt was born in New Zealand but moved to Australia with his family when he was young. He played for the Broncos in Brisbane since the age of 17, and later represented Queensland and Australia.
He was considered one of the most talented players to play the game, but made the shock announcement in July that he was going to make an unprecedented switch to AFL (Aussie Rules Football), joining the new Gold Coast franchise in 2011.
No other player has ever made that switch, playing both NRL and AFL professionally at the highest level. Hes only 23 now, and his contract is for three years.
Being a multi-talented player, Hunt wasnt satisfied with that though, so took on a 6 month contract playing Rugby Union with Biarritz. That makes him the only player to have ever played all three codes professionally.
Unfortunately, unlike other League converts, Hunts situation is that he wont have the time to really settle into the fifteen man game. Even if he does impress, hell be gone by May so its probably not ideal for the local fans.
Personally though, its a nice opportunity for him to learn new cultures and experience a different side of life with his girlfriend. "France is a pretty special part of the world and where we are staying... it is material for a postcard," he said. "We managed to get a nice cosy apartment in the centre of Biarritz and are on the doorstep of the beach."
He made his debut in the Top 14 last month, and against Racing Metro last week there was quite an amusing incident as he showed that hes still a little rusty when it comes to the rules of rugby union.
"With our side clearly dominant for the majority of the game it looked like we were in for a win until I made a comical error," he said on his website.
"After one of the Racing players kicked the ball through the line and went after it to score, I whisked over to impede. Not knowing about the rule of having to force the ball once you're in your own in-goal, I battered the ball dead like I would if I were in a Broncos jersey and to my surprise, gave away a penalty try in the process!"
Ouch: The League fans weren't too happy about Hunt's move to AFL. Evidence here .