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Ben Hunt ‘not closing the door’ on Titans move as Dragons talks ‘on the backburner’

Ben Hunt has hinted at the possibility of returning to his native Queensland to join the Gold Coast Titans if he cannot agree on a new deal with the Dragons.

Last year, during Origin camp, Hunt requested a release from the final two years of his contract with St George Illawarra, citing concerns over the club’s direction.

Although Hunt was strongly linked to the Titans and later to a potential late-season move to the Broncos, the Dragons refused to let him leave. New coach Shane Flanagan has since worked to repair the relationship between the club and Hunt, the Maroons’ star player.

Recently, Hunt revealed that discussions about a contract extension for 2026 are currently “on the backburner” as he focuses on the Maroons. However, he has not ruled out a future move to the Titans.

“Mate, I am not closing the door on anything at all,” Hunt said, according to News Corp. “At the moment, I’m happy at the Dragons and we’ll work through it. There’s no talks at the moment. I am trying to focus on a few other things at the Dragons and get our team going in the right direction. We’re in the Origin period now so that (Dragons contract talks) might be on the backburner. There’s no rush for anything down there. We’ll sort it out.”

Hunt cannot negotiate with other clubs until November 1, but the 34-year-old’s impressive form suggests he would be a valuable asset for a team like the Titans.

When asked how long he believes he can continue playing, Hunt replied, “I honestly don’t know. I am still feeling good in my body. Touch wood, I have been very lucky with injuries. Sometimes it’s harder to pull up after games with a sore body and stuff, but at the moment I’m still feeling OK so we will see how we go.”

Hunt caused a stir last May when he formally requested a release after coach Anthony Griffin was fired. Despite Shane Flanagan being named the new coach for 2024, Hunt began pushing for a release ahead of the second State of Origin match.

The Dragons refused to let their marquee player go, despite his public dissatisfaction. Hunt had signed a contract extension just eight months before the controversy began. At the time, Hunt expressed his desire to return to Queensland but later admitted to having regrets about how he handled the situation.

“I probably made it known pretty loud last year that it was getting pretty frustrating,” Hunt told Nine News. “There’s regrets about parts of it. In a way, I’m happy that some things came to a head but it definitely could have been handled better, that’s for sure. It’s been a long couple of years and it sort of compounded into a few little things that sort of ticked it off at the end. If I could take the time back, I would do it differently.”

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