Wallabies star Karmichael Hunt’s career remains in limbo after his latest drug-related case was adjourned for a further three weeks.
The Queensland Reds utility back appeared briefly in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday charged with two counts of possessing dangerous drugs and a new charge – contravening a police direction.
Hunt did not enter a plea and remains barred from training with his Reds teammates in what Rugby Australia described as a “voluntary stand-down” until he returns to court on February 19.
His lawyer, Adam Magill, requested the matter be adjourned to give him and his client time to review the police material.
Mr Magill said it was “too early to tell” if he would fight the charges.
“We’ve only just received some of the material,” he told reporters.
“We haven’t even read it, it’s literally just been handed to us in an envelope.”
It is Hunt’s second cocaine indiscretion in three years and threatens to bring an abrupt end to his glittering three-code career.
He was charged after officers allegedly found him in possession of cocaine and alprazolam – better known as Xanax – during a search in a car park in the inner-Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley on December 30.
He was immediately stood down from all team-related duties when it emerged and has been training by himself ever since.
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) January 29, 2018
The new charge brought against the 31-year-old alleges he failed to provide identification to police at Fortitude Valley police station on January 6.
If convicted, it’s expected Hunt’s contract will be torn up.
He had only signed a fresh two-year deal with the Reds and Rugby Australia a month earlier.
The new court date is four days before Queensland’s first game of the new Super Rugby season, against the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park.
Hunt played seven seasons in the NRL with the Brisbane Broncos and four in the AFL with the Gold Coast Suns before switching to rugby union for the start of the 2015 campaign.
He got off to a rocky start with the Reds when charged with four counts of drug possession, which occurred just after finishing his Suns’ contract.
Hunt was suspended for six weeks, fined $30,000, stripped of the Reds vice-captaincy and instructed to undergo counselling.
He admitted it as a “terrible mistake” but denied he had a drug problem.
The utility back seemed to have put the controversy behind him last year when he was one of Queensland’s best players and made his Test debut for the Wallabies.