The Brisbane Broncos have accepted the decision made by St George Illawarra Dragons to deny Ben Hunt an early release from his contract. Despite Hunt’s desire to move to Queensland, the Broncos are confident in their current roster and believe they have a strong squad capable of success.
After meeting with the Dragons for formal talks on Monday, it was the second time that Hunt’s request for early release was turned down. The 33-year-old halfback had hoped to leave due to the recent coaching changes at the Dragons, with Shane Flanagan set to take over in 2024 after the dismissal of Anthony Griffin.
Hunt, who hails from Rockhampton and has represented Queensland in State of Origin, saw a mid-season move to the Broncos as an ideal opportunity. It would have allowed him to return home and potentially win a premiership before joining the Gold Coast Titans in 2024. With Reece Walsh and Adam Reynolds already excelling at fullback and halfback respectively, Hunt could have been the missing piece in the Broncos‘ pursuit of a premiership.
However, the Broncos are not dwelling on the Dragons‘ decision and are focusing on the present. Brisbane’s CEO, Dave Donaghy, confirmed that he had a conversation with Dragons‘ CEO Ryan Webb regarding Hunt’s availability after seeing public comments in the media. Donaghy acknowledged that Hunt is under contract with the Dragons and respects their decision.
Donaghy expressed satisfaction with the current Broncos squad, stating that they have been performing well. The club’s sole focus is on their upcoming battle against Redcliffe at the Gabba, emphasizing their determination to move forward and compete at a high level.
As a result of the Dragons‘ decision, Billy Walters will continue to be the Broncos‘ first-choice hooker. However, the club boasts a number of other strong options at dummy half, including Cory Paix, Blake Mozer, and Tyson Smoothy, providing depth in the position.
Overall, while the Broncos had hoped to secure Hunt’s services, they are content with their current roster and confident in their ability to achieve success with the players they have. They have moved on from the situation and are fully focused on their upcoming match against Redcliffe.