Code hopper Karmichael Hunt says he knocked back constant overtures from Broncos great Darren Lockyer to return to Brisbane before signing with the Reds.
Not even rugby league great Darren Lockyer could convince Karmichael Hunt to return to the Brisbane Broncos.
Code hopper Hunt confirmed he did not leave on ideal terms with his once beloved Brisbane before his bombshell announcement in 2009 that he had signed with AFL expansion club Gold Coast Suns.
And while he wishes the Broncos well, Hunt has revealed repeated overtures from the club champion and his former captain Lockyer could not lure him back this year.
Hunt admitted Lockyer was not an easy man to say “no” to – especially considering his emotional pull to a Broncos team that was battling mid-2014 as he determined the next move in his remarkable career.
“We were on the phone, we caught up at his place at Burleigh a few times – he (Lockyer) was trying to get me back there but it just didn’t work out,” Hunt said of his discussions with ex-teammate Lockyer, now a Broncos board member.
“I never thought I would go back to the game but it was emotional because of the situation the Broncs were in at the time.
“At the time coming back to the Broncos was based on helping my old club out – at the time they weren’t going so great.
“I wanted to help them get back on track.
“But it didn’t work out for a number of reasons.”
However, Hunt said he now felt comfortable with his decision to sign a three-year deal with Super Rugby outfit Queensland Reds from 2015.
Especially after foundation coach Wayne Bennett resumed the reins.
“Now that he is there it makes it a lot easier for myself,” Hunt said of Bennett who took over from dumped coach Anthony Griffin.
“I know it is in great hands again because if anyone was going to turn that place around it is going to be Wayne.
“And they have some great talent coming through – they will be fine in the future.”
Still, Hunt admitted he left Brisbane – a club where he racked up 125 NRL games and launched a rep career spanning 11 Tests and 10 Origins for Queensland – not a happy camper all those years ago.
“Their recruitment was, I don’t know about questionable, but they seemed to pick players from left, right and centre,” he said of life under then-Broncos coach Ivan Henjak.
“(But) there were a few factors that not pushed me out but tipped me over.
“But they will be good going forward.”