Karmichael Hunt says he is feeling “better than ever” as he looks to put his off-field problems behind him having swapped the Reds for the Waratahs.
Hunt, capped six times by Australia in 2017, was left out in the cold by the Reds last year after being banned and fined by Rugby Australia having pled guilty to charges of possessing a dangerous drug and contravening a police direction.
In a separate case in 2015, Hunt was fined for cocaine possession but the 32-year-old insists those issues are a thing of the past having moved to the Waratahs from the Reds, with Bryce Hegarty going in the opposite direction.
“It means a lot to me that Daryl [Gibson, head coach] and the Waratahs have decided to give me another go, I’m ready to take this opportunity with both hands,” Hunt said.
“Myself, my family and my friends are all excited for the Super Rugby season ahead. 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.
“It provided me with the opportunity to reassess why I was making bad decisions and work through all of that with my family and my psychologists.
“Spending most of last year away from rugby allowed me to recuperate physically and mentally. Now I’m ready for this new opportunity, I’m feeling better than ever and fresher than I’ve felt in years.”
Gibson added: “We acknowledge the off-field issues that Karmichael has faced in the past and today’s decision is one that as a team and a business, we have not taken lightly.
“We have made an informed decision after completing a thorough process by not only speaking with Karmichael, but also his family, his team-mates and broader support network, as well as consulting our own staff, board, players, and extended support team.
“Karmichael has been very open and genuine with us about his off-field issues and his desire to turn things around, not only professionally but personally.”
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