Todd Carney has given up hope of joining North Queensland, after heading back home to New South Wales due to a family illness.

NRL 360 host Paul Kent confirmed the news on the show on Tuesday night, after Carney reportedly told his Queensland Cup side Northern Pride he wouldn't be returning to the club or be available for selection.

Carney was in talks with the NRL and the Cowboys to have a contract registered with the league, but his future is now back up in the air as he heads back to Sydney.

“Todd has been outstanding for us. He’ll be sorely missed by the playing group,” Pride chairman Tony Williamson told the Cairns Post.

“To have an Australian representative at the Pride was unprecedented. But at the end of the day rugby league is just a sport.

“We’re disappointed but we’ve got to think of Todd’s welfare. He’s got to go.

“Football is the last thing on his mind right now. I don’t think the last eight weeks has been easy.

“I think seeing his mum in Sydney last week brought everything home for him.”

Kent reported Carney could return to the NSW Cup and play for Newtown, which is Cronulla's feeder club.

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