Griffin challenges Hunt to find NRL form

Dragons coach Anthony Griffin has challenged Ben Hunt to rediscover his best form with hard work.
Dragons coach Anthony Griffin has challenged Ben Hunt to rediscover his best form with hard work.

Anthony Griffin has challenged St George Illawarra halfback Ben Hunt, calling on him to prioritise hard work and honesty to overcome a form slump.

The Queensland star was dropped from the final game of the State of Origin series this year after spending a season drifting between the bench and starting side for the Dragons.

By his own admission the 30-year-old has struggled to find his best form in recent years, but his multi-million dollar pay cheque leaves fans with little patience.

Griffin coached Hunt at the Broncos from 2011-14 but also worked with him in the lower grades as he was developing as a halfback.

It's been six years since the pair have worked together, but Griffin has put the onus back on Hunt to rediscover his best.

Asked on Thursday how does he get the best out of the marquee halfback, Griffin said: "Hard work, honesty, leadership.

"All those things have got to be important to him if he wants to have a serious crack."

Hunt's form has been heavily criticised over the past few years under former coach Paul McGregor.

Last season he played five-eighth, hooker, halfback and from the bench as a utility, while Corey Norman was also shifted around the field to find form.

Norman is also a big earner at the club but Griffin said he does not care what they make, they will play where they fit in best for the side.

"Anyone in the team, it's got to be important to them to put the team first," he said.

"(The competition for the halves) hasn't started yet and I don't know what they're worth, it doesn't bother me what they're worth, it's what they can do for the team.

"They'll all get their chance in due time."

Former NSW representative Jack Bird could also get a shot in the halves as he looks to make an NRL return under Griffin.

The 25-year-old signed on a two-year-deal after injuries restricted him to just 17 games in two seasons for the Broncos.

Griffin is confident Bird can beat any lingering mental demons to return to his best - at one point he was one of the best players in the NRL.

"He's fit, he's had a bad run of luck injury wise, but everything I've seen so far the way he's moving and the way his mind is, he's gearing up for a big season," Griffin said.

Griffin is yet to lock Bird into a position for next season but said he will take his time and allow him to find his feet back in the NRL.

Australian Associated Press