The Reds have selected the code-hopper at fly-half for their Super Rugby opener against the ACT Brumbies.
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Karmichael Hunt has been named at fly-half for his Super Rugby debut for the Queensland Reds against the ACT Brumbies on Friday.
Fellow new signings James O’Connor and Adam Thomson were not considered for selection due to injury.
Hunt, who spent the last five years with AFL club Gold Coast, has been handed the number 10 jersey by Reds coach Richard Graham.
“I thought Hunt controlled the game well last week and had earned the opportunity to start in the flyhalf jersey,” Graham said according to the Queensland Reds official website.
“He has the confidence and support of the entire team.
“We all know what he is capable of and his experience at the highest level in multiple codes has set him up well for his Super Rugby debut.”
Graham said that O’Connor and Thomson did not have enough time to prove their fitness before the opening game of the season.
“There has been some disruption with injuries but every team faces the same challenges in pre-season. We look back with confidence on the quality and volume of work we have done and what we control this week leading into the game, our preparation and our attitude,” Graham said.
“James O’Connor is a day or two shy of being available for selection. He has worked hard to be ready but the medical staff felt it was best to bring him back next week.
“Unfortunately two bouts of illness have not allowed him to consistently get the running loads into his legs after suffering a knee injury in his last match in France. He has been involved in a lot of our sessions and kicking goals but I felt it was best not to risk him in the first game of the season.
“Thomson is in a similar situation. He joined us late in our preparation and has carried a bit of a shoulder complaint in the last couple of weeks. He is the 24th man for the squad this Friday and my preference is to give him another week to ensure he doesn’t carry the injury any further.”
The Reds kick off their Super Rugby season against the Brumbies on Friday at 8.40am (GMT).