Karmichael Hunt launched his career with the Broncos as a 17-year-old in 2004 and has come full circle almost two decades later.
Karmichael Hunt launched his career with the Broncos as a 17-year-old in 2004 and has come full circle almost two decades later.

Hunt joins Broncos in stunning NRL comeback

Karmichael Hunt has made a stunning NRL comeback with the code-hopping superstar to be added to the Broncos' NRL squad.

News Corp understands Hunt will be placed on a train-and-trial contract with the 34-year-old to be considered for selection after Brisbane's clash against Penrith tonight at Suncorp Stadium.

The Broncos have one spot vacant on their 30-man full-time roster and Brisbane coach Kevin Walters is keen to tap into Hunt's experience immediately.

Hunt has been playing in the Intrust Super Cup with Brisbane's feeder-club Souths Logan and will feature with Anthony Milford in this Sunday's clash against North Devils at Davies Park.

But after this weekend, Hunt could be back in Broncos colours.

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Karmichael Hunt has been playing for Souths Logan. Picture: John Gass
Karmichael Hunt has been playing for Souths Logan. Picture: John Gass

 

Hunt launched his career with the Broncos as a 17-year-old in 2004 and has come full circle almost two decades later with the former Queensland Origin star eyeing a remarkable resurrection at Red Hill.

Hunt has been playing at centre for Souths Logan but Walters will consider him at the scrumbase as he looks to add some experience to help Tom Dearden, Brodie Croft and the out-of-favour Milford.

Last month, Hunt told News Corp he hadn't given up hope of a return to the Broncos after returning to rugby league this year with Souths Logan.

"I'd love to," Hunt said when asked if he wanted to play for the Broncos.

 

Karmichael Hunt kicked off his NRL career with the Broncos in 2004.
Karmichael Hunt kicked off his NRL career with the Broncos in 2004.

 

"Hopefully they don't need the help. I'm really looking forward to seeing how they go.

"I'd love to play professionally but I've been out of the game for 11 years. Maybe it's a young man's game now, who knows? I'm just going to play and see how we go.

"If it happens it happens. If it doesn't, that's OK.

"I'm pretty old in league terms but the body feels good. The last five years in rugby weren't the most consistent in terms of playing so my body feels fresh."

Souths Logan coach Steve Bretherton said Hunt was a popular addition to the Magpies.

"He has been really good for our club," he said.

"I wouldn't say he has set the world on fire but his experience has been great and he's been good for our young blokes.

"I'm not sure if he's going to the Broncos but if he gets a chance, I'd be really happy for him."

It has been nearly 12 years since Hunt played his last NRL game for the Broncos in Brisbane's 2009 preliminary final loss to Melbourne.

 

Karmichael Hunt last played for the Broncos in 2009. Picture: NRL Photos
Karmichael Hunt last played for the Broncos in 2009. Picture: NRL Photos

 

He left the NRL as a State of Origin and Kangaroos star, embarking on a trailblazing switch to Australian rules, where he spent four seasons with the Gold Coast Suns and at times looked like a bona fide AFL player.

Hunt never truly felt comfortable in the AFL and crossed over to rugby union in 2015, spending four years with the Queensland Reds, featuring for the Wallabies in 2017, before falling out of favour and joining the NSW Waratahs in 2019.

The past two years at the Waratahs were a struggle for Hunt, and with his fourth child (Lennox) on the way, he and wife Emma returned to Brisbane to be closer to family.

At 34, Hunt understands he is in the twilight of his career but had hoped a return to his roots at Souths-Logan would propel him to an NRL resurrection with the rebuilding Broncos.

Originally published as Hunt joins Broncos in stunning NRL comeback