The arrival of Hymel Hunt at Redfern during the offseason may have bolstered the Club’s outside back stocks, but it has also provided the side with some extra Auckland Nines experience.
As Head Coach, Michael Maguire, prepares to unveil his 2016 squad for the Nines today, Hunt signalled his desire to be a part of the experience to Rabbitohs.com.au, having made the trip in 2015.
“Last year I went over with the Melbourne Storm,” said Hunt.
“I think we only won one of the three games that we played so we were knocked out before the finals, but I got a taste for what it’s like to play that kind of game – I really enjoyed the chance then so I’m keen to play a part again this year for the Souths.”
Hunt played in Melbourne’s first clash of the 2015 tournament against then-reigning Nines champions and eventual 2015 Premiers, the North Queensland Cowboys.
But despite only featuring in the one Nines clash, Hunt’s hunger to pull on a red and green jersey in the tournament and play alongside his teammates has fired his pre-season preparation.
“Training’s been awesome,” said Hunt.
“We’ve been putting in the work and preparing for the Nines and that’s what it’s all about really – we all want to play our part for the team, so I’m keen to get a chance to play this weekend.”
Standing at 191cm tall and weighing in at 99kg, the hard-running outside back has set his sights on a centre position, but is also capable of playing on the wing following on from his four first grade games – one for the Gold Coast Titans in 2013, and three for the Melbourne Storm in 2015.
“My strengths are at wing and centre,” said Hunt.
“Obviously I’d like to be playing in the centres – we’ve got some great halves and playmakers at this Club that I’m really looking forward to playing outside of and creating some combinations with.
“You get to do that at training a bit, but it really comes together when you get the chance to get on the field and play a game.”
A Junior Kangaroos representative in 2013, Hunt also played in Queensland’s Intrust Super Cup Grand Final with Storm affiliate, the, Easts Tigers, in 2014.