Karmichael to be Cheik-ed out at fullback

by Staff Writer

He was one of the more controversial selections in the Wallabies train-on squad but Michael Cheika has a specific plan for Karmichael Hunt.

Hunt featured primarily for the Reds at outside centre in Super Rugby this season however the Wallabies coach believes fullback is the best fit.

The 28 year-old has started at fullback just twice in 2015 but his career best performance did come in the 15 jersey - against the Bulls in Round Nine. Hunt ran for 121 metres from six runs, which included seven tackle busts.

“It’s not a bad start for a player who’s converting to get a look at that (fullback) position,” Cheika said.

“It’s a good opportunity for him to get involved with us over a couple of weeks and we can go from there.”

Cheika has a few back-ups to superstar fullback Israel Folau with Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper both having played 15 for the Wallabies.

The train-on camp, and potentially The Rugby Championship shaping as the ultimate litmus test for the cross-code convert.

“I think I saw a real good picture of him (Hunt) in the last match against the Waratahs where Taqele Naiyaravoro was doing a fair bit of damage in attack.”

“There was one time where he (Naiyaravoro) was going down the wing and Karmichael, from 15 metres out, there was no other result that him smashing Naiyaravoro.”

The former Gold Coast Suns utility made nine appearances in 2015 after battling with injury since his making the code hop.

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