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Charge dropped

Sunday, February 04, 2018

ONE of the drug charges against Wallabies star Karmichael Hunt has been dropped by police because of "insufficient evidence", according to his lawyer.

Australian police had alleged the Auckland-born rugby player was found in possession of cocaine and Xanax during a search in the inner-Brisbane suburb of Fortitude Valley on December 30.

He was charged with two counts of possessing dangerous drugs and one count of contravening a police direction.

However, on Friday, Hunt's solicitor Adam Magill confirmed one of the drug charges, relating to the alleged cocaine possession, had been "discontinued".

"He is relieved, he's happy," Magill said.

"It is obviously a big weight off his shoulders."

Magill said Hunt's focus was on planning for the upcoming season and he remained hopeful of securing a spot in the Wallabies squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Hunt appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday and the matter was adjourned until February 19.

It is unclear whether Hunt will be allowed to resume training duties with the Queensland Reds given he still has to face court this month for the charge relating to Xanax. The Queensland Rugby Union and Rugby Australia agreed in December it would be in the best interests of all parties for Hunt to stand down from any "team-related activities, including training and playing commitments".

A QRU spokesperson said no comment would be made because the matter was before the courts, while a Rugby Australia spokesperson did not want to add anything when contacted on Friday evening.

News that Hunt's cocaine charge had been dropped broke while the Reds were playing an internal trial.

Speaking on Friday before the news broke, Wallabies star Kurtley Beale said he and other players had been in regular contact with Hunt over the last few weeks.

They have been issuing words of support to Hunt, whose Rugby Australia contract looked to be all but torn up if he was found guilty.

"I saw the news and shot him a text to see if he was alright," Beale said.

"It's a difficult time for him. 'K' is a great guy and a great team man and I know a lot of the guys have been just shooting him a text to make sure he's alright."

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