BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND - APRIL 07: Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round six NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium on April 7, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The St George Illawarra Dragons have announced the signing of halfback Ben Hunt, who will join the Club in 2018 on a five-year deal following today’s completion of all official documentation.

The Australian Test representative, Hunt, 26, will join the Dragons from the Brisbane Broncos at the completion of the upcoming NRL season.

A former Dally M Under 20s Player of the Year, Hunt has played 166 NRL games to date since his 2009 debut.

St George Illawarra Dragons Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward said Hunt’s signature was crucial for the Red V moving forward.

“We were looking for a really competent, world-class halfback. It was about signing someone who has been a regular halfback and who has played at the highest level,” Millward said.

“Ben’s also a good family man and quite composed as a person. The Red V fans should be over the moon.”

Millward said however the club’s immediate focus remains on the upcoming 2017 season.

“Ben’s made a massive commitment to the Dragons but he also has a season to go with the Broncos,” Millward said.

“It’s important he has a great season with the Broncos, and it’s important we have a great season with the personnel we currently have.”

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42 COMMENTS

  1. i wish no ill will towards hunt but he just made 1 of the worst possible career move, he’ll go backwards at st george and they will turf him after a couple of years.

  2. Great signing for the Dragons. Perhaps a little over market value but he’s well worth it in the long-run. Together with Widdop St. George will have a halves pairing that would rival almost any in the league. Sure his kicking game is ordinary but now he’ll be NSW-based so coaching clinics from Joey Johns or Freddy would only be a drive away.

  3. Congrats Dragons fans. Big step in the right direction IMO. Now let’s see how Nona goes in 2017 as Hunts potential halves partner.

  4. I don’t see so many saints fans lighting fireworks over this…but I can say I am happy with it bar the 5 year contract being to long.
    There’s not much on the market that is quality, Hunt is certainly that.
    In terms of paying the big M$ it will be the norm for most clubs over the next couple of years with halves and the cap.
    I’m certainly happy we paid the bucks for hunt over the likes of keary, Hastings and the bubbler … I think sandow could still come back to the NRL with the right team.

    • I’m happy about it. Not happy that he isn’t joining until 2018 though, worried what could happen to his confidence and game if old man Wayne decides to drop him to qcup or something.

    • I am very happy about us signing Hunt. He could be the most important signing that we have made in the last 37 years. We will finally have a top class half back, someone who we can build our team around. Hunt was one of the form half backs in 2014, 2015 and for the first half of 2016. I like that he runs the ball. I certainly agree that Hunt is better than the likes of Keary, Hastings and the Bubbler.

  5. Hopefully for Red V fans, this is remembered as the day they started to turn it around and not the day they paid overs for an overrated half back who will screw with their salary cap for years to come. Let’s call it the Sandow Syndrome.

    I’ve got to feel a bit for Hutchinson. In the space of a few weeks he has gone from beginning pre-season as the starting half back of your junior club, playing for a long term contract to out for the year and your position has been usurped for the next 6 years. Hopefully he gets to actually show what he can do somewhere.

    • From the little I have seen of Hutchinson, I have not been very impressed. He looks to want to just run and pass the ball and he looks too slow for the halves. Maybe the team that you support can sign him up?

      I would rather we give Mann a run at half or 5/8 this year, even if Hutch was fit. Mann could even be Hunt’s halves partner if he can produce this year, if given the opportunity.

  6. What I don’t get is that people can think that almost $1mil a season is alot for Ben Hunt, the salary cap is expected to increase, and considering how much DCE is being paid, he is cheap. DCE and Hunt are both very similar to me, over priced deals when they aren’t worth that much. Anyway, I think he will come back firing when he reaches St George. Not necessarily this year, but certainly next year.

  7. Unsure of this signing. Should be great for them but by the time year 4 and 5 come along will he still be putting up performances worth a million dollarydoos?

      • I think Maloney is one of the most stable halves in the comp … I hope hunt does the same for the dragons over time. We don’t need flashy we need consistency.

        • I think he will be good to build a game plan around.
          Solid kicking game that needs a bit of tweaking and the best show and go in the game.
          Hopefully, he, Widdop and Dufty can strike up a good combination in the future

    • If Hunts contract 1 mil a year over 5 years, then the 1 mil a season may be a bargain in 4 and 5 years time.

      • its not a bargain but it will be easily the market average.
        Dufty has been on fire the last couple of seasons in the juniors and it will only be a matter of time.
        I look into the crystal ball and predict….
        Wayne will move Boyd to 5/8 … Dugan will go to the Broncs at FB … Dufty will FB for Saints.
        Widdop… i dont know what will happen.

        • Hopefully, Widdop plays like he did in 13/14. One big thing that comes from this signing is it slightly decreases the likelihood of Bird going home. Which I can’t complain about…

  8. Good signing though I fear his career will only get worse with this move. The broncos are the nrls team so

  9. Well done Ben hunt, you dropped the 2015 grand final but you certainly have cleaned up big time for this contract. A lot of people saying they paid overs, but the fact is you have too if your current team is crap and you want to sign quality players.

  10. Like a lot of others I’m a little shocked by this signing, not sure Hunt would’ve been the halfback I would’ve that amount of money for but at least he’ll bring a kicking game and more variety.

    What happens to Dugan and Widdop now? Do we keep both or just one?
    Maybe a ball playing fullback should be the next priority and my choice would be lolohea.
    Cheers

    • I would be letting both Dugan and Widdop go. Yes a ball playing fullback should be a priority. We should give Dufty a go this year. Maybe he will be our solution.

      Personally I would like us to sign Tedesco, Moses and Woods as a package deal. I think we would be a premiership contender with the above 3 and Hunt. I doubt that we will sign any of the above 3 though.

  11. Here we go the 2017 season hasn’t started yet and I’m posting my 2018 team.

    1. Lolohea
    2. Mann
    3. Milne
    4. Dugan
    5. McDonald
    6. Widdop
    7. Hunt
    8. Vaughan
    9. McInnes
    10. Packer
    11. Frizzel
    12. Leilua
    13. De Belin
    14. Masoe
    15. Thompson
    16. Sims
    17. Utility player

    Cheers

    • OK then I will post my hopefully 2018 team

      1 Teddy/Dufty
      2 McDonald
      3 Milne
      4 Herbert/Garrick
      5 Herbert/Garrick/Thompson
      6 Moses/Bird/Field/Dufty
      7 Hunt
      13 Frizzell
      12 Leilua
      11 Host/Dugan
      10 Woods/Asofa-Solomona
      9 Mc Innes/Robinson
      10 Vaughan

      14 Packer
      15 Simms
      16 Aikten
      17 Masoe/DeBelin

  12. After following Saints for 37 years we have finally signed a halfback that I am happy with. I like Hunt, he has a bit of Andrew Johns about him. We now have a halfback that we can build our team around. Hunt has a good running game. I would even have him earmarked as our future captain. I prefer the captain to play halfback, hooker or 5/8.

  13. those cross dressers waste money again .. hunt!!! not worth anywhere near what they wasted money on ..the standout for donkeys was milford not him that hunt is just a cry baby at training and must be smiling from ear to ear on the stupidity of the cross dressers , another players career about to go to waste just like every player that signs with them … i love when those drags waste there money on players could of got 2 or 3 top shelf players for that …believe that

    • believe a brain fusion with a chimp would be an upgrade for u,,, but i couldnt live with myself knowing the chimp would be the one that got ripped off.
      Must take heaps of guts to type out your daily dose of dribble against so many clubs but yet u still cant own up to who you support, , , gutless t*rd.
      U+1F44F
      U+1F44F

  14. Great signing. While some are baulking at his price and length of contract I think this was great foresight by the dragons. In a couple of years time when Cronk and Thurston have retired Hunt would have been one of the most sort after halfbacks but now he is off the market and dragons have him long term. He is a proven performer and someone the club can build around.

  15. I love this signing cause all halves will be on $1+ mill contracts soon and locking Hunt up for 5 years + an additional 1 year option is heaps good, This would be my team for 2018

    1.Dufty
    2.Macdonald
    3.Aitken
    4.Dugan
    5.Nightingale/Mann
    6.Widdop/Field
    7.Hunt
    8.Vaughan
    9.Mcinnes/Robson
    10.Packer
    11.Frizell
    12.Sims
    13.De Belin
    14.Thompson
    15. Ah Mau
    16.Host/Masoe
    17.Leilua

    The dragons finally have something they haven’t had for a while A HALFBACK!!

  16. My first post for 2017…..To be honest I had a secret harbouring to get Jack Bird back. I assume we tried, but like the Morris twins Doust will never live down letting him or them go.

    Am ok with the signing, but more importantly is who the coach will be in 2018.

    The first 6 weeks will be critical for Saints. I am super keen to see how we go, wont be death riding, hoping for a missing spark across the whole team.

    • Spark I think is the right word. Sims reminds me a bit of Ben Kennedy and Saints will benefit if he brings that intensity to the game, like he did in the game against Cronulla late last year; Leiluia has ball skills and may provide the ball-playing forward that Saints lack at the moment; Nona also has skills in the Codey Walker mould. Players like these may well provide the spark they lacked last year. Any team so lacking in points like Saints will always be specials to fight it out for the spoon no matter how passable their defence might be.
      Hunt will be a good signing if he reproduces his pre-2015 GF form. Maybe getting out of Brisbane might be what he needs – a new start. Let’s hope he goes better than DCE after he signed his massive contract. I bet the Titans are relieved he backed out on them. Ash Taylor and Elgey went pretty well for them and undoubtedly on far less than DCE’s coin.
      I agree about Bird. Saints have lost or let slip through their hands far too many other good local products since the merger, like Fitzgibbon, the General, the Stewart brothers, Luke Bailey and the Morris twins (there are undoubtedly others but they’re ones who readily came to mind in about 5 seconds). At least Saints have re-signed most of their emerging talent.

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