23 Feb 2015

Reds won't select Hunt this week due to court date

6:17 pm on 23 February 2015

The Queensland Reds have confirmed their new Super Rugby recruit Karmichael Hunt won't be selected again this week, so the controversial cross-code convert will sit out Friday's game against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Karmichael Hunt is yet to play for the Reds

Karmichael Hunt is yet to play for the Reds Photo: Photosport

Queensland Rugby Union chief executive Jim Carmichael says it's in the best interests of Hunt's welfare that he be excluded from the team ahead of his Gold Coast court date next week, when he will face four counts of supplying drugs.

But Hunt could yet be allowed to train with the Reds during that time.

Karmichael Hunt

Karmichael Hunt Photo: PHOTO NZ

Hunt, who was on the roster of Aussie Rules club Gold Coast Suns last year, was initially stood down only for last Saturday's win over the Western Force after news of his impending charges broke a day earlier.

The Queensland Rugby Union claimed the alleged offences had actually occurred between September 1 and October 3, 2014 - before he started training with the Reds in late November.

QRU boss Carmichael says they have a duty of care to Hunt, meaning the player may be allowed to continue playing with the Reds regardless of the outcome.

The QCCC investigation has also rocked Australia's National Rugby League competition, with five Gold Coast Titans players also charged with drugs offences.

The five include Australian internationals Greg Bird and David Taylor.

Another former Titans player has also been charged.