Ben Hunt's confession about wife and kids amid massive call on State of Origin future with QLD

Hunt is preparing to help the Maroons win a third straight State of Origin series.

Ben Hunt has made the stunning admission that next Wednesday's State of Origin decider could be his last match for Queensland. And the Maroons veteran admits his wife and kids will be a driving factor behind whether or not he decides to go around again in 2025.

Hunt is in camp with Billy Slater's Maroons side in Queensland as they look to wrap up three straight Origin series triumphs with victory in Game 3 at Suncorp Stadium on July 17. The Dragons skipper has been a mainstay for the Maroons over the years and has been used at hooker in tandem with Storm captain Harry Grant to brilliant effect.

Pictured left is Maroons Origin star Ben Hunt and his wife.
Ben Hunt says his wife and kids will factor heavily into whether or not he plays on for the Maroons after the 2024 series. Pic: Getty

The 34-year-old was one of his side's best in Game 1 but had a quiet second game of the series at the MCG like most of his teammates, as NSW levelled the series in emphatic fashion. In a testament to his importance to the Maroons over the years, Hunt is set to earn the coveted Dick 'Tosser' Turner Medal when he runs out for his 20th appearance for Queensland in Game 3.

Hunt admits it could be the last time he represents his state on the Origin arena, but says he will make a decision on his Maroons future after the series. The veteran playmaker - much like his Maroons skipper Daly Cherry-Evans - is playing some of the best footy in the back end of his career and his body has held up well to date. But with the likes of Grant and Bulldogs hooker Reed Mahoney waiting in the wings, Hunt says nothing is assured when it comes to his rep future.

"It could be [my last game], I'm not too sure - it's not something I have given a lot of thought to," he said. "At the moment, I'm just enjoying playing Origin. I'll probably get towards the end of the year or the off-season and have a think about that."

Hunt obviously lives in Sydney with his family after signing a long-term deal with the Dragons - despite agitating to move back home to Queensland last year. The 34-year-old is settled this season under first year Dragons coach Shane Flanagan but admits that being away from his wife and two young kids during Origin camp is a difficult factor he'll have to weigh up when deciding on his future.

"They are the two main ones - how the body is feeling and obviously you're away [from family] for a large period of the year," he said. "I'd like to be with them a lot more, but they are all things I need to think about. I've always said that as long as Billy [Slater] is gonna call, I'd be happy to play. It's always a huge honour, but it's got to come to a point where I will make a decision."

Hunt is still contracted to the Dragons until the end of the 2025 season but there have been suggestions he will extend the deal until the end of 2026 before potentially thinking about retirement. For now though, the Queensland No.9 is determined to help deliver Slater's men another Shield and says the coach has been driving standards like an "angry dad" after they were thumped 38-18 in Game 2.

This image shows Maroons coach Billy Slater and Ben Hunt after an Origin game.
Ben Hunt has been a key part of Billy Slater's Maroons squad for State of Origin. Pic: Getty

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"We had a look at the Melbourne game and it was definitely a tough watch that is for sure. Billy definitely had honest conversations with a fair few of us," Hunt said. "(Slater) was like the angry dad. He pointed a few things out that he wasn't happy with. I don't think there were many guys in that game that could say they played a good game of footy.

"It was a tough video session but one we needed. There were definitely some embarrassing moments for sure. In the first half there were some real poor defensive errors. They played a great game but we weren't at our best... I don't like to lose and to lose like that in an Origin jersey definitely burns.

"We have got to make up for that this week. "I have always loved coaches like that. I don't want my coach to dance around the hard conversations. I want to know where we stand and Billy is one of those. He pointed out a lot of things that went wrong and made guys accountable for their actions."

with AAP