Internationals Karmichael Hunt speaks out about Kiwis

warriors4life_old

Guest
From smh.com.au

BRISBANE star Karmichael Hunt is considering making himself available to play halfback for New Zealand in the upcoming Anzac Test - a move that demonstrates a new desire among players of Polynesian heritage to represent the Kiwis following last year's Tri-Nations success.

Of the 1952 players registered with the NRL and NSWRL, 271 were either born in New Zealand or their parents were.

Many of them are also eligible to play for Samoa or Tonga, while the heritage of another 29 is solely Samoan and 75 are Tongan.

In the NRL alone it is estimated that 33 per cent of the 375 players in the top 25-man squads at the 15 clubs are Polynesian, and the number is closer to half at junior representative level.

Yet the only halfback or five-eighth of note among them is Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall, arguably the NRL's most marketable player at the moment.

With Stacey Jones playing for French Super League club Les Catalans and Thomas Leualai at London Harlequins, even the New Zealand Warriors do not have a Kiwi wearing the No.7 jersey and are using Queenslander Nathan Fien at the scrumbase.

Parramatta's Marcus Perenara, Rangi Chase at the Tigers and the Bulldogs Billy Ngawini are halfbacks but, like Lance Hohaia at the Warriors, all are playing hooker for their respective clubs' second-tier team.

While Hunt's background in the NRL has been exclusively as a fullback, he played halfback in the Broncos pre-season trials - giving New Zealand coach Brian McClennan the idea of using him in that role for the May 4 Test at Suncorp Stadium.

Until now, Hunt had insisted he wanted to play State of Origin for Queensland and was, therefore, not available for his country of birth but the 19-year-old appears to have softened his stance following some subtle pressure from the Kiwis, including Marshall.

"If they offer me a position, obviously I would consider it. I wouldn't just say no," Hunt told Big League magazine. "I'm pretty focused on playing for the Broncos and playing Origin, but if the opportunity arises and they ask me I definitely will consider it."

Marshall and Hunt played together at schoolboy level in Queensland and the injured Wests Tigers pivot has been lobbying his former teammate to declare his allegiance to New Zealand.

Hunt's agent, David Riolo, said yesterday that his client hadn't raised the issue with him recently but it is understood that McClennan and incoming NZRL chairman Selwyn Bennett will try to meet with him while in Australia for the launch of the 2006 representative season on April 4.

"If the coach wants to talk to him I would support that," Bennett said, "We're always trying to encourage players who are eligible to represent New Zealand to make themselves available for the Kiwis."

With the World Cup to be played in Australia and New Zealand in 2008, organisers are relying on players representing teams they have heritage links with to ensure the success of the tournament - and particularly the Pacific nations.

A proposal to have a combined Pacifika team play the country that has the bye during this season's Tri-Nations tournament was rejected last year by the International Rugby League Federation but will again be tabled at the next meeting in Brisbane.

"I think everybody thought France was going to come out but quite clearly they are not so I will be raising the idea of a Pacifika team again," Bennett said.

"Imagine what sort of a side they could put on the field. We don't have State of Origin in New Zealand but the Kiwis against a Pacific team would be just as big. After all, Auckland is the biggest Polynesian city in the world."

Ever increasingly, though, New Zealand Test players - such as Nathan and Jason Cayless, Frank Pritchard and Jake Webster - are being born in Australia and Bulldogs recruitment manager Mark Hughes estimates that one-third of the players in the Canterbury junior competition are of Polynesian heritage.

Through Hughes and John Ackland, now the assistant coach to Ivan Cleary at the Warriors, the Bulldogs have led the way in the recruitment and development of Polynesian players and their current line-up boasts Kiwis stars Sonny Bill Williams, Matt Utai and Roy Asotasi, while Willie Mason was born in Auckland and Willie Tonga and Reni Maitua have Polynesian heritage.

"When I started doing this 10 years ago clubs were already coming over to New Zealand to recruit players in large numbers," Hughes said yesterday from Auckland, where he had travelled to watch junior representative matches over the weekend.

"One of my first experiences was in the 1997 Super League competition and we had a junior team with Corey Hughes and Brent Sherwin as the halves, both of whom would have been 70 kilograms ringing wet, up against an Auckland team that included Ali Lauitiiti, Lesley Vainikolo, Monty Betham and Wairangi Koopu.

"They were so much bigger and at half-time we trailed 32-0 but the boys fought back to go down 36-34 after Lauitiiti scored their only try of the second half."

"If the coach wants to talk to him I would support that," Bennett said, "We're always trying to encourage players who are eligible to represent New Zealand to make themselves available for the Kiwis."

With the World Cup to be played in Australia and New Zealand in 2008, organisers are relying on players representing teams they have heritage links with to ensure the success of the tournament - and particularly the Pacific nations.

A proposal to have a combined Pacifika team play the country that has the bye during this season's Tri-Nations tournament was rejected last year by the International Rugby League Federation but will again be tabled at the next meeting in Brisbane.

"I think everybody thought France was going to come out but quite clearly they are not so I will be raising the idea of a Pacifika team again," Bennett said.

"Imagine what sort of a side they could put on the field. We don't have State of Origin in New Zealand but the Kiwis against a Pacific team would be just as big. After all, Auckland is the biggest Polynesian city in the world."

Ever increasingly, though, New Zealand Test players - such as Nathan and Jason Cayless, Frank Pritchard and Jake Webster - are being born in Australia and Bulldogs recruitment manager Mark Hughes estimates that one-third of the players in the Canterbury junior competition are of Polynesian heritage.

Through Hughes and John Ackland, now the assistant coach to Ivan Cleary at the Warriors, the Bulldogs have led the way in the recruitment and development of Polynesian players and their current line-up boasts Kiwis stars Sonny Bill Williams, Matt Utai and Roy Asotasi, while Willie Mason was born in Auckland and Willie Tonga and Reni Maitua have Polynesian heritage.

"When I started doing this 10 years ago clubs were already coming over to New Zealand to recruit players in large numbers," Hughes said yesterday from Auckland, where he had travelled to watch junior representative matches over the weekend.

"One of my first experiences was in the 1997 Super League competition and we had a junior team with Corey Hughes and Brent Sherwin as the halves, both of whom would have been 70 kilograms ringing wet, up against an Auckland team that included Ali Lauitiiti, Lesley Vainikolo, Monty Betham and Wairangi Koopu.

"They were so much bigger and at half-time we trailed 32-0 but the boys fought back to go down 36-34 after Lauitiiti scored their only try of the second half."
 

playdaball_old

Guest
Good on him. I'd give him the oppportunity to play for the Kiwis. He was born in NZ and spent 60% of his life in Auckland. We take on other Aussie born Kiwis who have never lived in NZ as well as Aussies who qualify by residency.

Give him a chance!
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
playdaball said:
Good on him. I'd give him the oppportunity to play for the Kiwis. He was born in NZ and spent 60% of his life in Auckland. We take on other Aussie born Kiwis who have never lived in NZ as well as Aussies who qualify by residency.

Give him a chance!

I agree. My issue with him previously was the thought of him playing when he didn't really want to. But if he genuinely wants to represent the black and white, I'd have no problem with it.
 

corey_old

Guest
i dont think he said he never wanted to play for the kiwis, he never said he wanted to play for Australia either did he, but State of Origin has a huge hold on players. i say if he wants to play for the kiwis, let him play! as long as he doesn't do a 360 in a few years time when queensland comes calling, and he turns his back on the kiwis.
 

*Kimmy*_old

Guest
playdaball said:
Good on him. I'd give him the oppportunity to play for the Kiwis. He was born in NZ and spent 60% of his life in Auckland. We take on other Aussie born Kiwis who have never lived in NZ as well as Aussies who qualify by residency.

Give him a chance!
I disagree

Why should we give him a chance, when we asked him he turned us down, so why should he get to walk straight in cos he wants to!!

We take on other Aussie born Kiwis who have never lived in NZ as well as Aussies who qualify by residency.
Yes cos they want to play for us....he never wanted to play for us from the start.
I bet its only cos we have won the tri nations that he wants to play for us... :roll:
 

corey_old

Guest
yes he has turned us down before, but he hasn't actually said "i dont every want to play for the kiwis", i may be wrong though, you guys will no doubt know more.
 

*Kimmy*_old

Guest
corey said:
yes he has turned us down before, but he hasn't actually said "i dont every want to play for the kiwis", i may be wrong though, you guys will no doubt know more.
Yeh but its the fact that he even turned us down :cry:

But seriously guys, do we really need him...we've shown we dont, and we've shown we can win without him :p

Each to their own i sopose.
 

KeepingTheFaith_old

Guest
Hunt said he would "consider" playing for the Kiwis. That's what bothers me. I'm going to be super p*$#ed if he starts talking about playing for the Kiwis and then changes his mind when the time comes to actually make a choice.
 

*Kimmy*_old

Guest
KeepingTheFaith said:
Hunt said he would "consider" playing for the Kiwis. That's what bothers me. I'm going to be super p*$#ed if he starts talking about playing for the Kiwis and then changes his mind when the time comes to actually make a choice.
Yup, or he actually plays for us, then we start to lose, then he bails...anything can happen.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
I think it's his decision I wouldn't say I don't want him to play for NZ but if he does, then so be it. I know what he's said in the past has bothered people because of his irritating obsession with SOO. But, as he says it is a consideration. There are no definites for a yes or no.
The bottom line is, if he wants to play because he has a genuine interest and keenest for the kiwis then fine. If not and it's just to be part and parcel then again fine because in the end it's his own decision that he's making. Whatever he wants he'll do.

Ps- I really don't think he'd even make the SOO side purely because there are a number of guys still high tails away from him.

Besdies it's not like we'd totally relay on him now would we? We are just as good without him, but it would be nice to have kiwis there regardless.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
Just on the State of Origin ruling. Something should be done because to be fair it's a crap thing to make players decide what they want more. Playing for their state (be it them being born there or having lived there..whatever) or their country because really both is as good as the other. I know Aussies love their SOO all aussie affair but to make kiwi players decide on that situation alone is more than stupid. THere are kiwi players in the nrl that would be just as good as any australian @ SOO level. So why limit it? It's the dumest rule I've heard in league to be perfectly honest.

They should have a chance to play for their state and their country and not have to pick because right now it shows just how damn one sided the NRL really is.
 

northwarrior_old

Guest
Sounds like a man whose is a bit soft in the head....it says in the Bible a double minded man is un stable in all he does......
Do we really want a man in halfback who needs to be convinced to play for us,,,,,he needs to come out strongly and state it.
Maybe he has relised he just isn't as great a player as he thought he was and so state of origin isn't a given....for him.
 

warrior_girl81_old

Guest
i think well do great without him. ive never liked him and i dont want to see him in the kiwi jersey. he needs to figure out where his loyalties lie.
 

AliN_old

Guest
who needs him? We're the Tri Nations champions and did it quite nicely without Karbuncle.
It's cos he's not good enough to play for the Aussies that he's ' considering' playing for the Kiwis.
 

Chinos_old

Guest
i think if he wants to play representative football he will need to play for new zealand because the qld team has too much depth in the halves and fullback positions. It worries me to think that the only reason he will accept a kiwi jersey is because he will not be selected in any other rep team, if this is the case it will be dissapointing to see.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
northwarrior said:
Sounds like a man whose is a bit soft in the head....it says in the Bible a double minded man is un stable in all he does......
Do we really want a man in halfback who needs to be convinced to play for us,,,,,he needs to come out strongly and state it.
Maybe he has relised he just isn't as great a player as he thought he was and so state of origin isn't a given....for him.

Going by the same reasoning, let's not have Benji Marshall either, because he too has represented Australia at a junior level. That'd be horrible - for both our halves to not be considered because of where their loyalties used to lie in the past.
 

northwarrior_old

Guest
Jesbass said:
northwarrior said:
Sounds like a man whose is a bit soft in the head....it says in the Bible a double minded man is un stable in all he does......
Do we really want a man in halfback who needs to be convinced to play for us,,,,,he needs to come out strongly and state it.
Maybe he has relised he just isn't as great a player as he thought he was and so state of origin isn't a given....for him.

Going by the same reasoning, let's not have Benji Marshall either, because he too has represented Australia at a junior level. That'd be horrible - for both our halves to not be considered because of where their loyalties used to lie in the past.

Jesbass
Did you read the story with your eyes on.....Mr.Hunt is considering playing for us....alongside Queensland....HMMMMM Which one should I play for (Which one will hurt/help my career?)
Do we want this guy toying with us....and our national side like that....shows his pride...does it???
Benji wants to play for us ......hes hungry to show his skills....off international for the KIWIS.
Is it just me or is there a big difference....Here????
 

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