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Super Rugby

Karmichael Hunt Handed “Second Chance” By Waratahs

Swap Deal.

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Written by Cai Hilditch-Roberts
Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

The Waratahs finally unveiled the signing of controversial outcast Karmichael Hunt from the Queensland Reds on Monday, after months of speculation. The club confirmed the signing of the 32 year-old from the Reds via their website as a part of a player swap deal, in which fly-half Bryce Hegarty will join the Reds.

Hunt endured a rocky spell last year in Queensland as he was cast aside by Reds coach Brad Thorne after being caught with Xanax during a night out in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. He was then forced to play Brisbane Premier Rugby alongside fellow outcast Quade Cooper.

The 32 year-old also served a 4 game-ban and was fined $30,000 back in 2015 after being arrested for supplying cocaine alongside Titans Rugby League player Beau Fallon after an investigation on cocaine use on the Gold Coast.

Despite his colourful past though, NSW Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson is convinced that Hunt is a reformed character and deserves the “second chance” the Waratahs are giving him. He said:

“Karmichael has been very open and genuine with us about his off-field issues and his desires to turn things round, not only professionally but personally.”

Capped 6 times by the Wallabies in 2017, Hunt is a diverse player that can play in multiple positions and will provide the Waratahs with the much needed depth they need as well as that extra bit of quality. Gibson added:

“One of the findings out of 2018 season review is that we played our best players too much. Our strategy was that we needed to improve the depth of our squad and Karmichael helps us with that.”

During the announcement the full-back said that he was “excited” by the prospects of a fresh start in Sydney after spending most of his sporting career living in Queensland. He added:

“It means a lot that Daryl and the Waratahs have decided to give me another go, I’m ready to take this opportunity with both hands. I’m always the first to admit that I’ve made mistakes. But the time away from the sport has been the most important thing that has happened to me.”

Premiership

Te’o Heading to Play in Super Rugby

England centre Ben Te’o has been heavily linked with a move away from the English Premiership and reports now claim he could be playing for a Super Rugby side next season

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(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

England and Worcester Warriors centre Ben Te’o could make a move to Super Rugby side the Queensland Reds according to Australian outlet The Courier Mail.

The 32-year-old’s contract with the Gallagher Premiership side ends this summer and it appears very unlikely that he will remain on English shores next season.

There have already been reports suggesting he has offers from French and Japanese clubs, however, it is thought that Brad Thorn is keen to bring in the Auckland native to replace departing centre Samu Kerevi.

Kerevi is one of a number of high-profile Australian players in line to leave the country after the Rugby World Cup, with the centre set for a move to Japan.

The Reds ended their season in a disappointing fourth position in the Australian conference which meant they failed to make the play-offs for a sixth successive season, but Thorn wants to bring the Queensland side back into contention with Super Rugby’s top sides.

Te’o, who was named as part of Eddie Jones’ England training camp this week in preparation for the World Cup would bring a huge amount of experience to the Aussie outfit.

He has 18 caps for England and played for the British & Irish Lions during their 2017 tour of New Zealand as well as his club career. If they do manage to claim his signature, it would be a decent way to fill the void being left by Kerevi.

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Super Rugby

Why Gibson is Stepping Away from the Waratahs

It was confirmed earlier today that Daryl Gibson would be walking away from the Waratahs and he has had his say on why

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(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Daryl Gibson has taken some time to explain his decision to resign from the Waratahs and has admitted he doesn’t know where he will go next. 

Gibson had a year left on his current contract with the Waratahs but believes that the talent coming up through the franchises ranks need a new coach to bring them on.

“We’ve got some absolute gold nuggets here that are going to filter through our system over the next three to four years and it’s time for another coach to take them on that journey and really own that process. Having been here for seven years, it’s time for a new voice, a new direction, a new game style as new players come into the team,” he said.

Of the 28 Wallabies to compete in the World U20 Championship final, 12 come from the Waratahs.

Gibson also insisted that the Israel Folau situation was not a contributing factor in his departure, however, he did admit that it had affected him personally.

“Obviously Israel’s had an incredible impact not only off the field but also on the field. We lost the highest try-scorer in the history of the competition and that has an impact, particularly on the (reduced) number of tries we scored during the season. It’s been a challenging period leading people through that. The time taken up and invested in that has taken away from rugby and focusing on it. I’m certainly challenged by that situation. I’m really proud of how the team’s responded to that situation but it has been tiring,” he added.

The former All Black then admitted he was entering the “totally unknown” and has not ruled out working with Michael Cheika again in the future.

“But I’m excited about that opportunity. I love coaching. I love being in rugby so there’ll be something there,” he finished.

Gibson’s time with the Waratahs was largely unsuccessful since taking over from former coach Cheika, with the side winning only 28 of the 64 games he has taken charge of.

The franchise will finish the Super Rugby season in 12th and will now need to find a replacement that can bring through the youth and bring success.

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Player Social

Will Genia hints that his Super Rugby career is over.

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Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images

The Rebels played their final conference game on Saturday against the Chiefs in Melbourne but came out the wrong side of a drubbing.

After the game, Wallabies and Rebels’ scrum-half Will Genia took to Instagram with a very poignant post.

Genia (31) uploaded a picture collage with a try-scoring picture of himself getting over the whitewash for the Queensland Reds and more recently, the Rebels.

His caption read, “What a ride Super Rugby”.

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What a ride @superrugby ✌🏾

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His contract with the Rebels expires this year and he has been tipped for another move overseas. Genia has had a stint in Europe previously with Stade Francais but it’s rumoured that a move to Japan is looking more likely.

Quade Cooper, his current half back partner with the Rebels and previously with the Reds and Wallabies commented on the post,

“Much love bro! Been unreal being back together ✊🏾❤️ love you bro”

Quade Cooper is another whose contract is up in the air. His deal with the Rebels also expires at the end of the Super Rugby campaign and he has also been widely linked with a move to Europe with Harlequins one of the favourites to land the mercurial playmakers signature.

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