Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna admits Karmichael Hunt is a chance to play against West Coast this Sunday but it’ll be a decision on form, not emotion.
Gold Coast fans could yet be given one last chance to see code-hopper Karmichael Hunt in the AFL club’s colours.
The ex-rugby league star is in contention for Sunday’s season-ending home clash against West Coast in what increasingly looks the final game of Hunt’s four-year AFL career.
The 27-year-old is off contract at the end of the season and a switch to the Queensland Reds and Super Rugby is reportedly a done deal.
With nothing to play for but pride against the Eagles, Sunday’s game could be the perfect chance for Hunt to have one last run-out for the Suns before departing the code.
Suns coach Guy McKenna says he’s contemplating recalling Hunt for what would be just his second match of the year and 45th overall in his AFL career.
But Hunt’s inclusion will be based on form rather than sentiment.
“My duty is to pick the side to win,” McKenna said.
“I pick the players to play who give us the best chance to do that. If Karmichael’s name comes up and we think he’s one of the best 22 to do that this weekend, well, he gets selected.”
McKenna said regardless of whether Hunt plays on Sunday, his time at the Suns had been a success.
From on-field highlights such as his after-the-siren winner against Richmond in 2012 to providing experience and leadership off the park, McKenna congratulated Hunt on making the jump to AFL and thriving.
He said young stars such as Harley Bennell had been mentored and guided by the former rugby league international.
“To show our boys what it takes to be a professional athlete, that’s unfortunately something the cameras and journos don’t get to see a lot but that’s probably 80 per cent of what K’s been able to do for the growth of our group,” McKenna said.
“From a club point of view, he’s been enormous.
“To make that decision, to go from being the 14th or 16th best rugby league player in the world … to come in and be the 700th best and start from there to work his way up to get into our side.
“Ultimately it was his conditioning and tank that got him to 44 games and just the group going past him has restricted his games. We didn’t have too many injuries in the first part of the season but if we had a few more he’d have been front and centre.”