Hunt signs with NSW Waratahs


21/01/2019



By NSW Rugby Media

The NSW Waratahs have today announced a player swap with the Queensland Reds with Karmichael Hunt confirming his move to Sydney for the 2019 Super Rugby season.

Hunt will join the NSW Waratahs with Bryce Hegarty to play for the Queensland Reds.

NSW Waratahs Head Coach Daryl Gibson made the announcement today alongside Hunt in Sydney.

“Today we welcome Karmichael to the NSW Waratahs team,” said Gibson.

“We acknowledge the off-field issues that Karmichael has faced in the past and today’s decision is one that as a team and a business, we have not taken lightly.

“We have made an informed decision after completing a thorough process by not only speaking with Karmichael, but also his his family, his team mates and broader support network, as well as consulting our own staff, board, players, and extended support team.

“Karmichael has been very open and genuine with us about his off-field issues and his desire to turn things around, not only professionally but personally,” he said.

Hunt returned to playing in the NRC towards the end of 2018 where he demonstrated clearly a return to form.

“From a rugby perspective, Karmichael provides is a great fit for our squad, with the experienced playmaker comfortable playing at 12,13 or 15,” said Gibson.

“One of the findings out of 2018 season review is that we played our best players too much. Our strategy was we needed to improve the depth of our squad and Karmichael helps us with that.

“I was pleased with what we saw from him throughout the NRC from both his attack and defence.”

Hunt has relocated to Sydney with his wife and three daughters, a move he said he is excited about.

“The NSW Waratahs is a team steeped in history. They were one game away from making the final last year and have winning aspirations, I can’t wait to get back in to it,” said Hunt.

“It means a lot me that Daryl and the Waratahs have decided to give me another go, I’m ready to take this opportunity with both hands. Myself, my family and my friends are all excited for the Super Rugby season ahead.

“I’m always the first to admit that I’ve made mistakes. But the time away from the sport has been the most important thing that has happened to me.

“It provided me with the opportunity to reassess why I was making bad decisions and work through all of that with my family and my psychologists.

“Spending most of last year away from rugby allowed me to recuperate physically and mentally. Now I’m ready for this new opportunity, I’m feeling better than ever and fresher than I’ve felt in years.

“I’m ready to play and just can’t wait to get my hands on the football,” he said.

Gibson said that the NSW Waratahs and Hunt were entering the agreement with a complete understanding of expectations from both sides.

“As a team, we feel we are well set up to provide the level of support Karmichael needs to transition back to professional rugby.

“But equally we have also outlined to Karmichael the standards we set as the NSW Waratahs, both on and off the field, and that we won’t settle for anything less,” said Gibson.

Hunt today commenced pre-season training with the NSW Waratahs.


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