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Hunt plays down Dragons clash

Ben Hunt says it is business as usual as he prepares to face the St George-Illawarra Dragons for the first time since announcing he would be joining the club at season's end. 

‌The Brisbane utility will link with Paul McGregor's men in 2018 after signing with the Red V in January but for now he has unfinished business with the Broncos – starting with Friday's clash against the desperate Dragons. 

It is a strange scenario for Hunt, with a loss for the ninth-placed St George-Illawarra set to all but end their top-eight hopes. 

But the 27-year-old is firmly focused on securing a Broncos victory that would almost guarantee Brisbane a top-four finish. 

"I'm approaching it the same as I would approach any game. We've had one training session already and we trained really hard. I'm not doing anything different. I'm just going to go out and prepare as well as I can," Hunt said. 

"[I'm not expecting] extra scrutiny. It's the same game for me. I'm preparing like I do every other week and trying to play the best possible game for the Broncos. I'm a Bronco for the rest of the year."

Hunt may be a Bronco until the end of the season, but he admits to keeping one eye on the form of the side he will play for next year. 

His five-year deal with the Dragons is one of the richest in the NRL and he was full of praise when asked about the form of the club that rates him so highly. 

"I've watched a few of their games this year and I think they've got a quality side," he said.

"I don't know if they are too wobbly. I know they are fighting to stay inside the top eight. I definitely think they have a quality side looking into the future."

The Dragons are sure to have their work cut out for them when they travel to Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, with Hunt leading a rejuvenated Broncos attack that has stacked on the points in recent weeks.

Hunt has been a revelation since moving to hooker, adding another attacking dimension to the Broncos as they look to end their 11-year premiership drought. 

It is no coincidence that Brisbane have scored 86 points in the two weeks that Hunt has been in the No.9 jersey, with the Queensland Maroons representative doing a stellar job after taking over from the injured Andrew McCullough. 

A halfback at heart, Hunt is sacrificing his preferred position for the team and he hopes to be able to play 80 minutes at hooker in the near future. 

"Honestly I'd still rather be in the halves but I am enjoying it. Having two big wins makes it a bit easier," Hunt said.

"[The workload] is definitely a lot more, but in the two games I've played there's been a lot of stoppages so I don't think I've been tested too much. 

"In a couple of games I think I'll be in a position where I can [play 80 minutes]. I'd like to have a crack at it."


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