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Sport Karmichael Hunt will return to rugby for Souths

11:06  06 july  2018
11:06  06 july  2018 Source:   9news.com.au

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Karmichael Neil Matthew Hunt (born 17 November 1986) is a rugby union player for the Queensland Reds in the Super Rugby competition. Having previously played professional rugby league and Australian rules football

The words of the ground announcer at Bond University dripped with sarcasm as Karmichael Hunt , one of the country's most decorated cross-code football players, ran onto the field at the 49-minute mark for Souths in Hunt made his humble return to rugby in the most unlikely of places on the Gold Coast.

a group of people posing for the camera: Karmichael Hunt was fined $600 by a Brisbane court.© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Karmichael Hunt was fined $600 by a Brisbane court. Two hundred and twenty-four days after he last played a game of rugby, former Reds player Karmichael Hunt’s exile looks set to end.

The dual international was banished by Reds coach Brad Thorn after being arrested for suspected drug possession in Brisbane suburb, Fortitude Valley, last December.

Illicit drugs charges were later dropped but the 31-year-old was fined $300 for the possession of prescription drug Xanax and fined another $300 for a separate charge of contravening a direction from police.

After a disciplinary hearing, Rugby Australia’s integrity unit handed down a fine and a four-game playing ban, applied retrospectively, for his December 30 arrest.

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Karmichael Hunt will make his return to rugby on the Gold Coast on Saturday when he lines up in a club match alongside fellow exile Quade Cooper. Hunt , who hasn't pulled on the boots since last year's Wallabies spring tour, is expected to be named on the bench for Souths ' clash against Bond

Exiled Wallaby fullback Karmichael Hunt returned to rugby yesterday for the first time in seven months since being arrested in December last Souths are setting in third place on the QPR ladder, and with Cooper’s presence this season have played an expansive game that is highly entertaining.

Although that punishment has meant Hunt has technically been free to play for months, he hasn’t played a game of rugby since the Wallabies’ test loss to Scotland last November.

But that hiatus is about to end.

9NEWS understands Hunt has been registered to play for Brisbane club team, Souths in the Queensland Premier Rugby competition.

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Karmichael Hunt will make his return to rugby on the Gold Coast on Saturday when he lines up in a club match alongside fellow exile Quade Cooper. Hunt tweeted on Friday. He has close friend and Souths captain Cooper to thank for teeing up the opportunity, having been turned away by Norths

Karmichael Hunt will make his return to rugby on the Gold Coast on Saturday when he lines up in a club match alongside fellow exile Quade Cooper. Hunt , who hasn't pulled on the boots since last year's Wallabies spring tour, is expected to be named on the bench for Souths ' clash against Bond

Good friend Quade Cooper is captain of the first-grade side at Souths and he approached the club’s power brokers on behalf of Hunt.

Souths’ Club President, Tony Shepley, told 9NEWS Queensland the club had agreed to let him play on compassionate grounds.

“We were concerned for his own well-being as well, as much as anything else, I guess, that he was involved and around some people.”

There is some fear the inclusion of the controversial superstar would draw a negative reaction from families and the Juniors section of the club.

Hunt on field for the Reds.© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Hunt on field for the Reds. In a statement to the club’s members, Shepley explained the decision to register Hunt to play.

“Quade Cooper approached us about offering some assistance to his friend and team mate Karmichael Hunt.

“The issues around Karmichael’s inability to play for the Queensland Reds are well known and were dealt with some time ago.

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Karmichael Hunt will make his return to rugby on the Gold Coast on Saturday when he lines up in a club match alongside fellow exile Quade Cooper. Hunt tweeted on Friday. He has close friend and Souths captain Cooper to thank for teeing up the opportunity, having been turned away by Norths

Karmichael Hunt ретвитнул(а). Stephen King‏Подлинная учетная запись @StephenKing 26 авг. Good to see a few Leaguies down at @southsrugby training this morning. #captiansrun #finalsfooty #summit #rugbyleague #southsrugby @ Souths Rugby Union Football Club https

“Karmichael has essentially been in isolation and unable to play rugby for some time now.

“That is potentially not a good thing for someone who has been involved in team sport for as long as he has. It was put to us that for his own well-being he be given an opportunity to redeem himself on and off the field. He has to be involved in a club and playing rugby somewhere to do that.

“I think as a club we are about providing those kinds of opportunities to whoever has need for them and not about kicking someone when they are down.

“I also understand that some members will have concerns about the decision to allow Karmichael Hunt to register and play for our club. I hope those concerns can be outweighed by some compassion for the personal plight, even if the situation Karmichael finds himself in is largely self-inflicted.”

a man wearing a yellow shirt: Hunt playing for the Wallabies.© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Hunt playing for the Wallabies. Hunt has also been granted a return to training at the Reds base at Ballymore, but is understood to be training separately from the team.

A Queensland Rugby Union spokesperson said “Karmichael Hunt’s lawyers have requested that he returns to work, and the QRU is obligated to have him at work”.

Hunt is expected to be named on the bench for Souths against Bond University on the Gold Coast tomorrow.

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