Ex-Broncos champ in shock league comeback
Former Broncos champion Karmichael Hunt will return to rugby league via Souths Logan in the Intrust Super Cup on a double-pronged mission of transitioning into coaching while finishing his playing career with a flourish.
After 11 years out of the code, Hunt, 34, was pointed in the direction of Souths by Mr Magpies' himself - coaching great Wayne Bennett - who thought his old Brisbane club was the ideal place for Hunt to ease into coaching.
"Wayne said you have a good CEO (Jim McClelland) who will support your ambitions at Souths,'' Hunt said.
Hunt stressed his No.1 focus was to play strongly for Souths Logan and possibly even help out an NRL club "if someone might need a hand somewhere'', but the bigger picture was transitioning into coaching.
Souths Logan coach Bretherton has already handed Hunt several off-season training drills to oversee while the club will also put him through a Level 1 coaching course.
Hunt said he first approached Bennett "a couple of years ago'' to seek advice on the best pathway toward coaching.
"I started thinking about coaching for the last three and a bit years, really seriously,'' the dual international said.
"With Wayne, there were only discussions about the pathway, not whether I would be a good coach or not.
"I guess in my own head I have already decided that in my own head (that he could be a good coach).
"Wayne sort of came in around the pathway stuff.
"But once I become a fully fledged coach, whether it is here or where ever, in whatever capacity, I would love to use Wayne as a mentor.
"I am sure he would be prepared to help me out, as he has done throughout my career.''
Having played for the Broncos (2004-10), the Gold Coast Suns (2011-14), the Queensland Reds (2015-18), NSW Waratahs (2019-20) and the Wallabies (2017), the former Kangaroos star said he had vast experiences to draw upon on and off the field.
"I am excited about this next phase,'' he said.
Hunt stressed he still had plenty to offer on the field and it felt good to be giving back to Souths Logan after starting at junior feeder club Souths Acacia.
"Deep down, I still want to play footy,'' he said. "My body feels great, my mind feels great and as usual, I am looking forward to my footy doing the talking.
"I am not giving away my playing career just yet because I feel I have good years to give.
"But in the long run I feel the IP I have picked up in the other codes, all the pros and cons, I feel like I have something in my head that I am looking forward to bringing into the game.''
Hunt burst into the NRL in 2004 as a teenage fullback and progressed to play for Queensland and Australia where he was once described by then Test coach Ricky Stuart as having too much courage for his own wellbeing.
He helped the Broncos win the club's latest premiership in 2006 three years later Hunt sensationally left the code for the AFL.
Hunt said returning to train at his old junior club of Brandon Park, Acacia Ridge, was a feel good moment. Souths Logan use Brandon Park as a training base, although they play at Davies Park in Brisbane's inner south.
Originally published as Ex-Broncos champ in shock league comeback