BEN Hunt can at last entertain the idea of being the Broncos’ halfback into the next decade after signing a long-term deal with the club today.
On a huge day for the Brisbane club, Hunt signed on for another three years, meaning he will be with the Broncos until at least the end of 2017.
And at 24 years old, coupled with the sensational season he has produced this year, Hunt has a mortgage on the maroon-and-gold number seven jersey for a lot longer than that.
Hunt revealed today it was his elevation to back-up half for Queensland mid year that was the catalyst for his improved showing that gained him fourth in the Dally M count earlier this week as well as a berth with the Prime Minister’s XIII representative team.
After training all week with the Maroons as Daly Cherry-Evans nursed an injury, Hunt grew in stature.
He didn’t get to play his Origin debut as Cherry-Evans recovered, but the experience was enough to make him realise after five years of waiting he had finally earned the position.
“I always wanted to play in the halfback position and I am really thankful ‘Hook'(outgoing coach Anthony Griffin) gave me that opportunity this year,” said Hunt, who debuted in the NRL back in 2009.
“I feel like I have been really consistent this year.
“And I am looking forward to playing halfback for this club for many years to come.
“I suppose it was when I got that bit of recognition with the Origin squad.
“I had had a few games here and there but was not being consistent.
“To be recognised at that level made me feel like I was really playing some good football.
“I was satisfied that I was cemented in that halfback position.”
Hunt will be the Broncos’ halfback for many years to come, but his halves partner is not set in stone.
Both Josh Hoffman and Ben Barba filled the role this year and Logan whiz kid Anthony Milford is on his way to pre-season training after a scintillating career start with Canberra.
Hunt said he was looking forward to having Milford in the Broncos’ squad as well as working under incoming coach Wayne Bennett.
“I met Anthony (Milford) in that Origin camp and he is a great bloke playing some great football,” said Hunt.
“I am going to be over the moon to have him in our side next year whether he is playing halves or fullback, or wherever he is playing.
“I have had a meeting with Wayne and I am really excited to start working with him.
“He’s done some great things – the more I can learn off him the better it is going to be for me.”