Hunt’s best position is fullback: O’Connor

Interim Queensland Reds co-coach Matt O’Connor says he doesn’t care if Karmichael Hunt disagrees – in his view, the code-hopper’s best position is fullback.

That’s where Hunt will play for the embattled Reds in Saturday night’s Super Rugby away clash with the Melbourne Rebels following the shock benching of Japanese World Cup sensation Ayumu Goromaru.

But he shouldn’t get too comfortable, as O’Connor declared the struggling side will have to manage the use of Goromaru so his razor-sharp goalkicking can be best exploited.

That means another season of constant positional switches is likely on the cards for Hunt, an aspiring Wallaby who has sampled an array of different jersey numbers since his switch from the AFL at the end of 2014 but had barely any time to pick his favourite.

Hunt has played at fullback, five-eighth, outside centre and inside centre, and it is in the latter position where Wallabies boss Michael Cheika believes is his best chance at international level given Israel Folau is immovable at No.15.

Hunt played at inside centre in the Reds’ disastrous loss to the Western Force last weekend and was one of the few to fly the flag in a comprehensively beaten side.

Asked if Hunt was happy with the change, the straight-shooting O’Connor deadpanned: “I don’t mind.”

“That’s where he’s played the most rugby, that’s where he’s performed the best, and that’s where he’s playing.”

Goromaru was thought to be a certain starter for Queensland once fit, but he adds little to their attack compared to Hunt and missed two gettable penalties against the Force.

O’Connor warned Goromaru still had “loads” of areas to work on, chiefly his communication skills.

“It’s hard for him,” he said.

“His game understanding is very, very good because he’s played a lot of top-class rugby but the communication under pressure is the thing where he’s got the most growth in.

“He’s assimilated unbelievably well, and to deliver some of the things he delivered on Saturday night was pleasing for him.”

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