Ex-teammates back Carney's potential return
Senior Sydney Roosters players Jake Friend and Mitch Aubusson, who each played with exiled former Dally M Medal winner Todd Carney when he was at the Roosters, have offered their support in his attempt to return to the NRL.
The pair both played alongside Carney in 2010 (when he won the Dally M Medal and helped the club to a grand final appearance) and 2011.
A series of off-field misdemeanours eventually forced Carney out of the NRL to the Super League but the 31-year-old is back in the country having signed with Intrust Super Cup side the Northern Pride as he looks to get a possible one-year-deal with the Cowboys approved by the NRL.
"He's a quality player and as much as everyone says he's a great bloke, there's plenty [of opinions] out there about him," Friend said.
"But if you know Todd he's a good guy and I think he's done his time overseas. I'd love to see him get a crack in the NRL again so hopefully he gets a few games up there.
"I caught up with him the other week when he was down in Sydney and he was excited about the possibility of getting another chance. It was good to see him and if he can get the form he had before he went away then he could be a big thing for the Cowboys.
"I think he's been wanting to do that for a while, I'm sure he'll take it with two hands and I'm looking forward to seeing what Toddy can do this year."
Aubusson said having not seen Carney play for a few years he wasn't sure what his recent form was like but praised the impact he had in his two seasons at Bondi.
"When he was here he was really good for us," Aubusson said.
"He got us to a grand final in 2010 and worked really hard and played really well so if he's anywhere near that sort of form he'll help any club out. I think he wants to come back in and finish on his own terms."
The more immediate concern for the Roosters comes at 4.30pm on Saturday when they head west to ANZ Stadium to face a new-look Wests Tigers.
"Whilst it would be nice to have a bit of video on the Tigers, it's a bit of an unknown team with a new coach and different personnel, for us it's just about worrying about ourselves," Friend said.
Friend wasn't sure if five-eighth Luke Keary would recover from a pre-season broken jaw and concussion in time for the Tigers game but backed replacement Mitch Cornish.
"We're hoping [Keary will play]. We've got a session [Monday] afternoon so we'll see how he goes in that then we've got another big session later in the week. There's plenty of time for him to get himself right so hopefully he can do so," he said.
"[Cornish] has been in the halves all pre-season, they've been rotating in those positions so he'll come in and fill that void if needed."