The midfielder, signed from Crewe Alexandra, slots straight into the team and will partner Michael Tonge in the centre of the park, while Hunt will lead the line with Ross McCormack.
New Brighton boss Oscar Garcia makes no surprise moves with his first lineup as manager.
Defender Matthew Upson, who made his switch to the Amex Stadium permanent after spending last season on loan at the club, starts alongside Gordon Greer in defence.
Leeds United: Kenny, Peltier, Lees, Pearce, Warnock, Green, Tonge, Murphy, McCormack, Hunt, Varney
Brighton and Hove Albion: Kuszczak; Bruno, Upson, Greer, Calderon; Bridcutt, Crofts, David; Orlandi, Ulloa, Barnes