Ben in Hunt for Origin decider
Brisbane Broncos halfback Ben Hunt says he is ready to make his State of Origin debut if Queensland Maroons coach Kevin Walters calls on him for the Game Three decider on July 12.
It would be a dramatic turnaround for Hunt who just three weeks ago was playing Intrust Super Cup after being dropped to reserve grade by Wayne Bennett.
He has since returned to the NRL, and despite a mixed performance in Brisbane's 42-12 loss to the Melbourne Storm, Hunt is still firmly in contention for a utility position on Queensland's bench.
Injuries to Darius Boyd and Johnathan Thurston have opened the door for the 27-year-old who is champing at the bit to get his opportunity.
"I definitely think I'm ready," Hunt said.
"I've played a lot in that utility role in the past. I feel like it's something I'd adapt to a lot better now because I've played a lot more football and that's included bigger games.
"If I get the opportunity then I'll definitely do my best and I think I'll be ready."
Walters and Hunt have worked closely in the past, with Walters working as a halves coach at the Broncos in 2015.
That year was Hunt's best in a Brisbane jersey, guiding his side to within one point of grand final glory.
The two have a strong alliance and this was even more evident in preparation for Game Two of this year's Origin series when Walters invited Hunt into Queensland camp to work with the Maroons.
Now Hunt might just wear the Maroon jersey come Game Three.
"I had that opportunity to go into camp and I had a pretty good time," Hunt said.
"I had a good chat to Kevvie and he knows that I know how to play football and he believes in me so I just have to keep doing it.
"He's really good for me. We talk about footy now and then.
"I really respect him and I really enjoyed being coached by him when he was here. If he's got something to say then I'm all ears."
Hunt has had representative experience in the past, playing three games for Australia during the 2014 Four Nations.
It was a brief taste of rugby league at its highest level and for Hunt the only thing that can rival that experience is a Queensland debut.
"It was different coaches and stuff like that. Just to have the opportunity to play for Australia was a great experience," he said.
"I got to play along with some of those great players that are in the Queensland team now. It's something I've gained a lot of experience from."