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21 Feb 2018 2:42
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Carney to chase NRL comeback in Qld Cup

    Todd Carney will return to far North Queensland for another shot at the NRL via the Queensland Cup, after knocking back lucrative Super League offers.

    - article from

    The far North Queensland publican who had helped to revive Todd Carney's rugby league career says the troubled star has always wanted to return to his second home.

    Carney will play next season for Cairns Northern Pride in the Queensland Cup, knocking back a reported $1.2 million over three years to stay in England with Tim Sheens' Hull KR.

    The move provides the former Dally M Medallist and 2012 NSW State of Origin playmaker an avenue towards one last shot at the NRL.

    And it presents as a homecoming of sorts after the 31-year-old had spent 2009 playing for the Atherton Roosters.

    Denied a NRL contract after being sacked by Canberra, the then 23-year-old worked for Mick Nasser at Atherton's Barron Valley Hotel and played for the local side.

    Carney won the Dally M Medal with the Sydney Roosters the following season but a series of alcohol-related incidents led to his departure from Bondi before the infamous "bubbler" photo of him in 2014 resulted in him being banished by Cronulla.

    The five-eighth has spent the past three years in Super League but has shunned big offers to return on a $100,000 contract for one last NRL crack.

    Nasser said there was more to it than that, though, pointing to his affinity to the region and desire to coach once he retired.

    "NRL is still a goal but he's always wanted to finish in Atherton," Nasser told AAP.

    "We've been talking about it and he said he wanted to give something back by coaching in Atherton and this move shows it's not about the money for him.

    "He'll always have his knockers, the keyboard warriors and people who don't know him but it'll be good to have him back."

    Canberra's board last week voted to block a return to the club Carney debuted at as a 17-year-old.

    But Pride boss and former Australian forward Greg Dowling said his newest recruit deserved, and was good enough for, another shot.

    "Everyone deserves a chance to redeem themselves and he's served his penance and I've always said he's only ever damaged himself - never hurt anyone else," Dowling told AAP.

    One possibility for Carney could be a promotion to play NRL for North Queensland, for whom the Pride are a feeder team.

    But he would still need to be registered by the NRL to play for the Cowboys, given the top tier is run separately to the ARL-administered Queensland Cup.

    "I don't have an application on my desk for Todd Carney to return to the NRL," NRL boss Todd Greenberg said.

    "I wish him luck in the Queensland Cup. If we get an application, we will deal with it on our merits at the time."


    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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