SYDNEY – Disgraced fullback Karmichael Hunt was Monday given a chance to revive a rugby career overshadowed by a drug scandal, signing a one-year contract with the NSW Waratahs.
Hunt, a former rugby league international who made his Wallabies debut in 2017, was stood down from all contractual obligations later that year over drug charges.
The Queensland Reds star was fined Aus$10,000 and placed on a targeted testing programme in March after a court case.
The 32-year-old commenced pre-season training with the Sydney-based Super Rugby side on Monday after the swap with Tahs utility Bryce Hegarty, who will move to the Reds.
“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,” Tahs head coach Daryl Gibson said in a statement.
“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.”
Hunt is expected to fill the gap left by playmakers Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale, who will be rested through the Super Rugby season to keep them fresh and injury-free for the World Cup in Japan from September.
Hunt said he was grateful for the second chance, and had used his time away from the sport last year to “recuperate physically and mentally”.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)