Queensland Reds head coach Richard Graham will trial recent recruit Karmichael Hunt at flyhalf in the side’s upcoming pre-season match against the Crusaders.
While he is yet to announce the full squad for this Friday’s match at Ballymore, Graham said Hunt would be given the role of starting flyhalf, as he continued to evaluate all possible candidates in the position, in the wake of Quade Cooper’s injury two weeks ago.
“I’m using these pre-season matches as an opportunity to assess all our options at flyhalf,” Graham said.
“We’re a week out from Super Rugby and I wouldn’t be preparing the team the best I could if I didn’t look deeply at our flyhalf options for Round 1. Duncan (Paia’aua) had a tough night against the Rebels in Cairns last week, but there were also plenty of positives. He will get another opportunity this week from the reserves bench.
“Duncan is one of a number of players in our squad capable of playing 10, along with Karmichael and James (O’Connor). Unfortunately, James has been unable to train with the group this week due to illness.
“Karmichael has trained well in the position this week and deserves the chance against the Crusaders. He has settled into our framework well and is an influential member of the group.”
The Reds full squad to take on the Crusaders will be announced on Thursday.