After speculation last year where Hunt was linked with the St George Club, potentially following coach Bennett and also the Roosters – the lure of Rugby has always been there for the Queensland Origin player. While the ARU are apparently interested, no one can match the money on offer from French Union outfits.
In saying that; this could be a case of manager David Riolo drumming up additional funds for his client and Hunt will be fully aware of the risk involved; should he sign with a French Union outfit. Former NRL players Sonny Bill Williams and Luke Rooney are feeling plenty of pressure at their struggling French clubs; coupled with homesickness and a foreign language and suddenly the money isn’t so sweet.
Regardless, player manager David Riolo, says Hunt has a bag full of offers to weigh up.
“There’s a heap of interest in K,” Riolo told News Ltd.
“He won’t have a problem getting a deal anywhere, and that includes rugby here or overseas.
“We haven’t pursued the rugby option at this stage. If we do, we’ll have to organise meetings and K will have to talk to the appropriate people.
“Any player of his calibre is going to attract attention from abroad. He’s one of the best players in the world. He’s still only 22. He’s won Origin series, played for Australia and won a premiership.
“We’re in no rush with the Broncos at this stage, but K is a Broncos boy so obviously they are a big consideration for him.”
However, the Broncos remain keen to keep the likes of Karmichael Hunt. It’s a crucial time for Brisbane in the NRL, they’ve lost a competition leading coach, several key players and are set to see the twilight years of several others. Losing additional talent and being under the control of a rookie coach in Ivan Henjack might see them shunned by possible signings in future years.
“It will be tough to retain him obviously but Karmichael has indicated to us that he is keen to stay,” Broncos boss Bruno Cullen told News Ltd.
“We haven’t made a formal offer to Karmichael as yet but I imagine we’ll step things up at our next meeting.
“I’m hoping it would be done by the end of February. It wouldn’t surprise us if he’s got interest in various areas, be that in rugby abroad or the Australian Rugby Union.
“We’ve got the nucleus of a squad that can take us forward for the next five years. I’d like to think Karmichael sees a future here.”