Alfie inspires handyman Hunt to produce goods
MAROONS bolter Ben Hunt will channel the competitive fire of his hero, Queensland legend Allan Langer, as he braces for the Origin debut he feared had passed him by.
The Dragons- bound $ 6 million man will complete one of the greatest comebacks in NRL history when he runs out in Queensland colours in the Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday night.
Just a month ago there were fears Hunt ( pictured) had played his final game for the Broncos after being axed by coach Wayne Bennett and dispatched to feeder club Ipswich in the Intrust Super Cup.
Now Hunt is a bona fide Maroon who will become Queensland’s 193rd Origin player when, as the No. 14 utility, he is pitchforked into the fray before 52,000 fans in the Suncorp decider.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters has come under fire for blooding Hunt at the expense of Daly Cherry- Evans and the Broncos playmaker admits even he lost hope in his darkest hours at Ipswich.
“There’s been a lot of times that I thought I would never make Origin,” Hunt said. “When I wasn’t playing the best footy and even getting dropped this year, things go through your mind.
“You always have those bad thoughts where you think, ‘ Is this it? Am I never going to get to that level?’.”
Hunt wasn’t even born when Langer made his Origin debut 30 years ago.
Langer was the 68kg jock- ey- like halfback plucked from obscurity at Ipswich and thrust into the biggest match of his life against the Blues at Lang Park in 1987.
“I loved that Alfie was a little competitor, he was never the biggest guy on the field, but everything he did ... he was a fierce competitor,” Hunt said.
“He always fought hard to the end and that’s what I admired about him.”