Karmichael Hunt made a shock comeback to the NRL in 2021, but the code-hopping star won’t be taking to the field next season.
Karmichael Hunt will soon be able to add “rugby league coach” to his multifarious CV, having been handed the reins of the Souths Logan Magpies’ Mal Meninga Cup side from 2022.
Hunt, whose playing career spanned professional stints in rugby league, AFL and rugby union, said he was “super excited” to begin mentoring the Magpies’ Under 18s talent.
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“I am super excited to begin my coaching career with SLM, the club that represents the juniors I grew up playing for,” he said.
“I have a real passion for helping the next generation of players coming through, and coaching this year’s Mal Meninga Cup team gives me the opportunity to do so. I look forward to passing on the breadth of knowledge I have learnt so far.”
The appointment caps off what has been a remarkable year for Hunt on and off the footy field.
Twelve years after walking away from professional rugby league to pursue a career in French rugby, and eventually in AFL, the sporting polymath joined the Brisbane Broncos on a train-and-trial deal in April.
He ended up adding two appearances to the 126 he made for the Broncos between 2004 and 2009, as coach Kevin Walters experimented with halves combinations in his first year at the helm.
Away from the limelight, Hunt graduated from the University of Southern Queensland with a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) in 2021 and is now studying towards a Masters of Science (Research) at the same institution.
Jim McCleland, the CEO of Souths Logan Magpies, said the club looked forward to having Hunt on the books.
“The club is enthusiastic to announce Karmichael’s appointment as coach of our Mal Meninga side in 2022,” McCleland said.
“The Magpies started on a journey with Karmichael 23 years ago and we are thrilled he chose to return to Souths Logan Magpies in 2021 with the intention of starting his coaching career with our club.
“He brings a wealth of knowledge, integrity and the Magpies’ DNA and we look forward to being a part of his coaching journey.”
Hunt was named the 2004 Rookie Of The Year after a stellar first NRL season at the Broncos and was a member of the club’s premiership-winning side two years later.
In a period when the Queensland State of Origin side was at its zenith, Hunt donned the maroon jersey on 10 occasions.
After a short career in French rugby union, Hunt joined newly formed AFL franchise the Gold Coast Suns, for whom he made 44 senior appearances.
On his return to the 15-man game, he made six appearances for the Wallabies at Test level, slotting in at centre on each occasion.