Hunt relishing Waratahs challenge
Brisbane - Reds fullback Karmichael Hunt is relishing the prospect of
taking on the Waratahs in their Australian derby in Brisbane on Saturday.
The 30-year-old played 10 State of Origin Rugby League
matches for Queensland and would have played plenty more if he had not shocked
the Australian sports world in moving to the AFL side the Gold Coast Suns at
the end of 2009.
His fearless ball carries in the NRL from behind the
Brisbane Broncos defensive line earned him that honour in 2006 and the desire
to beat New South Wales still burns strong 11 years later - all that has
changed is the tint of red in the jersey he wears now.
"Everyone is looking forward to it - everyone is
looking forward to playing NSW," Hunt told the Australian Rugby Union's
"When you're coming up through the ranks - whether it
is union or league - when you play NSW the coaches put a little bit extra on it
and Stilesy has done that this week.
"Origin probably gets most of the attention these days
but we are looking forward to getting stuck into them on Saturday."
Nick Stiles comes from a long line of teachers and he has
been handing out some history lessons of his own this week.
No one loves Queensland rugby more than Stiles and Hunt said
he has made it known how important this game is for the Reds - both in
isolation and in the context of their season.
"He (Stiles) has re-hashed some of the great games that
Queensland have come back and won, some of the games they've gritted out for 80
minutes and won, he's hanging signs on the walls around the club with
scorelines, dates and their history," revealed Hunt.
"He wants us to understand how much history is involved
in this contest with NSW and I'm sure he will have another game to talk about
today before our team meeting."
The history of the QLD-NSW clashes in the last three years
is something Reds fans would rather forget.
Queensland have lost six straight to their arch rivals in a
match which typically serves as a barometer for both teams' Super Rugby season.
"That's pretty fresh in the players' minds - he
(Stiles) hasn't re-hashed that and I'm not sure if he is going to," added
"We understand that they've really bullied us over the
last couple of years and we really want to turn that around."