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Keeping up with the Hunts: Flyer's code-conquering family

Hymel Hunt spent his childhood bouncing off the legs of one brother who would become a "126-kilo guitar playing Queensland Reds prop" into another who would bash him straight back.

The last few years, meanwhile, have seen him leant on by younger sister Binnian, who has overcome back-to-back knee reconstructions to debut for Sunshine Coast Lightning in the Super Netball league.

Binnian is the latest Hunt to rise to the professional ranks in one of Queensland's more varied sporting families.

Code-hopper Karmichael Hunt and 2014 premiership-winning Rabbitoh Kirisome Auva'a also number among an army of cousins, with that family connection touted as a selling point when Melbourne spoke with Karmichael about returning from AFL with the Storm six years ago, when Hymel had just arrived from Queensland.

Meanwhile Hunt's older brother Herman "set the foundation early" for the Knights winger, making a sudden rise into the Reds front row in 2007 alongside then Wallabies props Rodney Blake and Greg Holmes.

The Hunt siblings.
The Hunt siblings. ©Supplied

Herman only ended up playing 10 Super Rugby games but still earned himself a write up as the "hulking guitar playing prop" with a degree in social science.

Hymel's own progress has been a slow burn, after stints with the Titans, Storm and Rabbitohs led him to Newcastle in 2019 – where he has since played every single minute until being rested last week.

The 26-year-old's rise has him among the Knights most consistent performers over the past 18 months, with Adam O'Brien bringing him back into his side to take on St George Illawarra.

But it's Binnian's recent debut for the Lightning that draws the biggest grin out of Hunt.

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"She's a gun, man, she's been a training partner with Sunny Coast and dominated all through school," he tells

"But she had two knee recos which set her back again. She's only 22 so she's still got a really bright future ahead of her.

"She was 17 or 18 when the knee injuries happened and she was one of Australia's best netballers coming through. That slowed her down for two years but I'm stoked to see her playing professionally.

"As a brother, you just try and be there for them with that mental and emotional battle.

"I've had long-term injuries too, I've had a shoulder reco and torn my pec before so I know what it's like when you're just coming onto the scene and then you get hurt.

"I'm really proud to see her playing at that professional level because it's where she belongs."

Hunt has found a home in Newcastle with the finals-bound Knights while the rest of his family resides north of the border in his native Queensland.

Binnian Hunt playing for Sunshine Coast Lightning.
Binnian Hunt playing for Sunshine Coast Lightning. ©Barry Alsop/Eyes Wide Open Images

Father Ian made the call to move his family from South Auckland to Brisbane soon after Hymel was born and Herman was just 11, but apparently "already into some inappropriate stuff and hanging out in the wrong crowd" in his own words to the Courier Mail in 2007.

Sport became the focus as soon as they landed in the Sunshine State though, with Hymel bouncing around the backyard from one brother to another until mum stepped in.

"[Herman] is 10 years older than me but I've been lining up on him in the backyard since I could walk," Hunt laughs.

"That's how I learnt how to tackle, my three older brothers would sort me out.

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"That's how it is in islander families, run straight or don't run at all. I'd have a go but always come off second best with bumps and bruises.

"He was a prop for the Reds during their dark days doing all the hard yakka unlike me. I loved it at school, having your older brother playing on TV, that's very cool as a kid.

"But now he watches me on TV and calls me after every game for his own personal review session. I love him. He set the foundation for me to get into professional footy.

"We all followed his career. We speak every day, we're all pretty tight and very grateful for each other.

"They're all up there in Brissie, whenever one of us is playing up there there's nephews and nieces all over the place. It's a fun family and my parents are really proud of us."

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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