Hunt keen to make most of southern transfer

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 But in terms of personal development it was almost an inevitable step for him to take.

 

Although with Josh Ioane and Bryn Gatland also chasing a starting role with the side there are never any guarantees.

 

The man who famously stole victory over the Highlanders with a last second 40m dropped goal for the Crusaders in their 2017 game in Christchurch realises that playing in the five-eighths outside Ioane could be an option during the season.

 

They have been working on their combination in training and in pre-season games.

 

Hunt said they had a chance to play that way and it had been exciting just as developing the vision, decision-making and communication had been important.

 

There was also the advantage to be had in working with All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith.

 

"I have only had the last 10 days working with him but [we are] already trying to build that combination there and look forward to it in a game sense," he said.

 

Hunt said he realised he was always going to have to earn respect in the south once he made the move and that involved putting in plenty of hard work. Having tasted success with the Crusaders in their triple titles campaign he had also been part of Tasman's success in the Mitre 10 Cup last year.

 

That offered the Highlanders the benefit of the leadership skills he had developed and he was keen to put them to use.

 

It had been a difficult decision to cut his Crusaders ties but he wasn't in any doubt that it was good for his game.

 

"It was a professional decision to try and build on my game. That is just something you have to do at times.

 

"But it was probably just tougher leaving some good mates. We had such good connections. Some of the guys I have played with since high school. That was the toughest thing. But it is a footy career which only lasts a limited time," he said.

 

There was a lot of thought put into the decision.

 

Hunt said he made the move in order to give his game 'a crack' rather than heading overseas and being none the wiser about what might have happened if he had made the move.

 

"I was happy I made the move and can't wait to get out there and give it a crack," he said.

 

"When you are at such a successful club then, of course, it is tough to leave, but I think on a personal level I wanted to see what I could do. So getting less than 10 minutes a game…I had to give it a go down here," he said.

 

The Highlanders open their season against the Sharks in Dunedin on Friday

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