Australian rugby union player Karmichael Hunt is once again in trouble with the law after being charged with drug possession.

The 31-year-old Queensland Reds star was arrested and charged with two counts of drug possession after being searched by police at Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley at about 12.40am on Saturday.

The former NRL and AFL player was reportedly discovered with a white power, believed to be cocaine, and issued with a notice to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on January 29.

In March 2015, Hunt pleaded guilty at the Southport Magistrates Court on the Gold Coast to four counts of possessing cocaine.

Hunt, who was fined $2500, was identified by police at the time as a customer of former professional rugby league player John Touma during a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission investigation into a cocaine trafficking ring operating in the state’s southeast.

That investigation also led to several Gold Coast Titans players being charged for drug offences.

At the time, Hunt said he had made a “terrible mistake” and apologised for the distress he had caused to his family and friends.

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) fined Hunt $30,000 and suspended him for six weeks following the 2015 incident.

Hunt has shaken off the controversy to establish himself at the Queensland Reds, making his Wallabies debut this year and signing a two-year contract extension until 2019 with the ARU in November.

“Rugby Australia has today been made aware of an incident involving Wallabies and Queensland Reds back Karmichael Hunt in Brisbane overnight,” the ARU said in a statement.

“Rugby Australia takes all matters relating to the off-field behaviour of its players seriously and has commenced an investigation into the incident in conjunction with the Queensland Rugby Union.”

A 32-year-old man who was with Hunt at the time has also been issued with a notice to appear.

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