Super Rugby
Hunt can be O'Connor role model, Will Genia says
ESPN Staff
August 29, 2014
Former Biarritz player Karmichael Hunt in action in the AFL, Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast Suns, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia, April 9, 2011
Karmichael Hunt has confirmed he is quitting the AFL after four seasons © Getty Images

Will Genia has been a big fan of Karmichael Hunt since watching him play for Brisbane Broncos in the NRL. Now the recovering Wallabies half-back hopes Hunt can become someone James O'Connor looks up to at Queensland Reds.

Genia would not confirm whether the Reds would announce O'Connor and Hunt as their key signings for 2015 at the Super Rugby club's gala ball in Brisbane on Friday night, but he certainly entertained the idea during the day.

"I think we have the leadership capabilities here to help him work through those issues," Genia said of O'Connor. "But I think in his time away from Australia, he has matured and grown as well. If someone like Karmichael comes along, he can help as well."

Genia on Friday sounded like the wide-eyed fan who first spied Hunt in Broncos colours when the code-hopper was mentioned.

"I have never met him but I have heard a lot about him," Genia said of Hunt, who announced on Thursday that he would end his four-year AFL stint with Gold Coast Titans.

"I used to enjoy watching him as a little kid when he played for the Broncos. If he were to sign I would love to train and play alongside him; it would be awesome. He is obviously world renowned as a professional athlete. As a player he's an unbelievable athlete, a great talent, much like Israel [Folau] in that sense."

Genia, meanwhile, said that he hoped to return from his ankle injury with Brisbane City in the National Rugby Championship on September 6.


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