Hughes played for the Kurri Kurri Bulldogs in their 1995 grand final victory. He then joined the Newcastle Knights and in his debut season he was on the wing in Newcastle's maiden Grand Final victory over Manly in the 1997 Optus Cup final. He subsequently shifted to the centres and enjoyed a second premiership title with the Knights in 2001.
Injuries hampered Hughes' later career and limited his representative appearances. At the end of 2005 he left the Knights to join French club Les Catalans for the 2006 European Super League season.
In 2010 he was named fullback of Kurri Rugby League Club's team of the century.