Hunt an onlooker as Wallabies cull nears

The Wallabies are toying with backline options for next weekend’s first Test against England but injury is restricting Karmichael Hunt’s output.

A leading candidate for the vacant inside centre role, Hunt hasn’t played or trained fully for nearly a full month, having picked up a groin strain during Queensland’s Super Rugby loss to the Crusaders on May 6.

He is yet to join the main training group at the Wallabies’ Caloundra camp, still on restricted duties with several others including Tatafu Polota-Nau and Rob Horne.

Team officials maintain he will be fit to train fully next week in the lead-up to the series-opening clash at Suncorp Stadium on June 11, but it is a concern for the code-hopper with nine players to be trimmed from coach Michael Cheika’s initial 39-man squad.

Cheika is understood to be giving Hunt every chance to prove his fitness ahead of what would be his Test debut.

Assistant coach Stephen Larkham said the sessions on Thursday and Friday would be critical in settling who stays on with the team when operations move to Brisbane next week, and who heads home.

“They’ve all trained really well, had great Super Rugby campaigns which is why they’re here, but they’ve really trained to the level we require,” Larkham said.

“But the next two days are going to be the most important days.

“We started the week with a lot of skill development and it’s going to be really difficult today with the (inclement) weather, but we’re going to continue that just to test these guys and see exactly if they’re ready for this level.

“We’ve got a number of options and we have been trialling those. But the next two days will give us a good indication.”

Another inside centre option, Christian Lealiifano is yet to arrive at Camp Wallaby, with the Brumbies skipper still in Canberra with his wife, who is overdue to give birth to their first child.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!