Karmichael Hunt was obviously relieved that the police decided to drop the cocaine possession charges against him from when he was arrested in a Fortitude Valley car park in Brisbane on December 30.
His future in rugby union is yet to be decided, however, because there is a much lower burden of proof in union jurisdiction and the main issue, one that still dogs Hunt, is the charge against him of “bringing the code into disrepute.”
Rugby Australia has a new chief executioner by the name of Gerard McEvilly, who is expected to assemble a tribunal to probe further into the matter of Hunt.
With the police charges against him dropped, Hunt is now free to travel internationally, which raises the possibility that he may seek to join a club in England and France, where he might be under far less scrutiny than he was with the Queensland Reds.
Hunt is on borrowed time from two perspectives.
For one, the Auckland, New Zealand native, a husband and a father of three, will turn 32 next November, so there is a finite amount of time on his playing career clock.
Secondly, he was convicted and fined on four counts of cocaine possession in 2015, so he has a target on his back so far as playing in Australia or New Zealand is concerned.
A statement by Rugby Australia printed in The Courier Mail carried an ominous tone.
“Rugby Australia has resumed its investigation in relation to his conduct.The Queensland Reds and Wallabies back will continue his voluntary stand-down from all rugby duties until the matter is resolved by Rugby Australia and the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU),” the statement said in part.
Hunt has previous experience playing overseas. He had a stint with Biarritz in France in 2009 – 2010 and he reportedly appreciated the lifestyle, along with the fact that French rugby players do not attract anything close to the publicity that they attract in Australia and New Zealand.