The third Bledisloe Cup Test in Brisbane offered Coach Michael Cheika some good news when dual international Karmichael Hunt returned to action after two months away and came through his first hit out unscathed.
Hunt was out due an ankle syndesmosis injury sustained during the Reds’ final match of the Super Rugby season against the Highlanders. We are not sure what a syndesmosis is, but judging from the size of the word, it cannot be anything but serious.
The 30-year-old Hunt, after making his Test debut for the Wallabies in June, played 40 minutes for Brisbane City in a 46 – 29 win over the Sydney Rays at Pittswater Park, where he displayed that he is back to game form.
“I’ve had a couple of solid weeks of training, but nothing compares to a game,” Hunt said.“I was a little bit nervy to start off with, but I felt comfortable with my ankle and after I got into some contact and got my hands on the footy, I really felt like I was back to playing footy again.”
Hunt, a versatile back, will have one more hit out against the Melbourne Rising in order to prepare and convince himself and his coaches that he is ready for the intensity of Test rugby.
Even without Hunt, the Wallabies have been on the rise. They improved steadily of late and trailed only the All Blacks.
Cheika has an issue on sorts, albeit a good one, with which to deal.
Kurtly Beale stepped into the No 12 jersey and was formidable in every way. Other backliners also were impressive, including wingers Reece Hodge and Marika Koroibete.
Cheika stated last month that he would make room for Hunt when Hunt returned, but that was prior to the good results of the others, but an excess of capable players is a far better problem to confront than is a dearth.