Veteran back Karmichael Hunt has signed up for a second Super Rugby campaign with the NSW Waratahs and has designs on getting back into the Wallabies squad.
The 33-year-old six-test Wallaby had a strong first season with the Waratahs curtailed by a knee injury this year and his experience will be invaluable with a number of senior players moving offshore.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to can’t speak highly enough of Karmichael … his attitude, professionalism and experience will be extremely valuable this season,” new NSW Waratahs’ head coach Rob Penney said.
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A former rugby league and AFL star, Hunt has played 44 Super Rugby matches since switching over to rugby union with the Reds in 2015.
His turbulent time with the Queensland club came to an end last year after being released by head coach Brad Thorn, but was handed a lifeline by the Waratahs heading into the 2019 campaign.
He impressed for the New South Wales club, plying his trade mostly at second-five before his season ended early through injury.
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That robbed him of the chance to push for a spot in the Australian World Cup squad and missed the entire National Rugby Championship, but could come back into the national reckoning with another strong showing in next season’s Super Rugby.
With a raft of stars departing the Waratahs, including the likes of Bernard Foley, Sekope Kepu, Nick Phipps and Curtis Rona, Hunt is likely to play a key role with the franchise as they eye a return to the play-offs after missing out on the quarter-finals this year.
“He’s a player I’m really looking forward to working with and I’m pleased he’s remaining a Waratah for another season,” Penney added.
The Waratahs kick-off their 2020 Super Rugby campaign agains the Crusaders in Nelson on February 1.
– With AAP
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