Souths’ Hunt gamble backfires | Innovation
SOUTHS are chasing an eligibility exemption so former England Test hooker David Paice can answer an SOS for Sunday's sudden-death club semi-final against Easts at Ballymore.
Paice, 34, has not played the required six games to be eligible for the Premier Rugby finals yet the Magpies are basing their clearance case for the 5.15pm clash on safety grounds because of injuries.
“Alex Casey is our starting hooker so our application to the queensland Rugby Union is based on the safety issue so we can have David on the bench if needed,” Souths coach Elia Tuqiri said.
“The fact is we've lost two alternative hookers to season-ending injuries and we just don't now have a reserve hooker at the club who can play at Premier Rugby level.”
Karmichael hunt's fourth game back was a strong effort at outside centre but the Magpies have accepted he is ineligible for the finals.
Hunt was snapped up by Souths after his club side Norths rejected his advances to return to the field after a long lay-off due to his arrest over cocaine possession.
The dual international's representative career in Australia looks to be over.
Last year, the QRU blocked a request from Wests to play former Wallabies lock Mark Chisholm in the knockout semi-final because he hadn't reached the six-game threshold.
Paice, educated at Brisbane State High, found his rugby destiny abroad where he played more than 250 games for London Irish and eight Tests for England (2008-13) before recently retiring and heading back to Queensland.
He made a cameo off the bench for the Magpies in their 33-14 loss to University on Saturday.
In the 3.15pm major semi-final, minor premiers University will meet GPS, who are strengthened by the inclusion of Reds props JP and Ruan Smith and fit-again fullback Albert Nikoro.
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