North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green is determined to sign Todd Carney to his roster. The former Sharks, Roosters and Raiders halfback is currently not signed with any club but Green is pushing for the NRL to allow Carney to join his club.
Whether Todd Greenburg and the NRL will allow Carney to return to the competition is still unknown; as is the halfback’s purpose at his possible new club.
Green has a wealth of playmaking options available to him. In fact, if his entire roster is fit one of his possible halves in unlikely to make his match 17.
Currently, Jonathan Thurston and Michael Morgan are the first choice halves combination. This leaves either Te Maire Martin or Ben Hampton to fill the utility role for the team.
With both Lachlan Coote and Jake Granville, who play fullback and hooker respectively, unlikely to lose their positions, one player must miss out each week.
Adding Carney to the squad simply adds extra injury cover to the Cowboys squad. Though it is more than likely an unnecessary purchase, having a former Dally M medallist as a backup player would be a luxury for any coach.
As the Cowboys are essentially throwing Carney an NRL lifeline, they will likely not have to pay too much for his services.
However, if Carney performs well he could force himself onto the bench as early as this season. Long term, he could even replace Thurston after the Cowboys captain retires should he be at the top of his game.
North Queensland have lodged a contract and are hoping to have Carney join the squad as soon as possible should the NRL allow him to do so.
Currently playing for the Northern Pride in the Queensland Cup, Carney expressed serious interest in returning to the NRL.
The number seven clearly wants an opportunity to show clubs that he still has what it takes to lead a team at the highest level. A chance with the Cowboys this year could lead to a much more lucrative deal in the future, whether in North Queensland or elsewhere.
Carney was previously deregistered from the NRL during the 2014 season when he brought the game into disrepute with an inappropriate photo that was posted online.
Since then Carney has spent three seasons in the Super League. Two of these seasons were with the Catalans Dragons and his most recent season was with the Salford Red Devils last year.