Paul Green has admitted the North Queensland Cowboys are interested in signing Todd Carney after he has proved to them he’s “fair dinkum” about turning his life around.
Green said the club was approached when Carney initially signed with Intrust Super Cup side Northern Pride about signing the former international but knocked him back because they were unsure if he was serious about doing what was ever necessary to revive his NRL career.
However, he has since proved to the Cowboys that he has reformed after the infamous bubbling incident led to the Cronulla Sharks terminating his contract in 2014.
Green added significant steps still needed to be taken before Carney could pull on a Cowboys jersey.
“All I’ll say on Todd Carney is the club are investigating the possibility of Todd playing here, there’s obviously a fair bit that needs to go into that before we get to that point,” Green said.
“There’s a process that goes with that so we’re probably, to be fair, in the middle of that process at the moment.
“To be fair Todd has done everything asked of him since he’s been back. We got asked about the opportunity when he first signed with the [Northern] Pride and we flatly refused that because we believed he had to prove that he was fair dinkum about some of that stuff that he was saying.
“I think without having that NRL carrot dangled in front of him way back then he’s knuckled down and trained well at the Pride and off-field he’s been good so we’d like to think most people deserve a second chance.
“Some people might say it’s not his second chance but I think he realises what he’s actually lost in the last few years, being over in Super League and he’s pretty passionate about having one more crack in the NRL.”
Carney hopes to become Cowboy No.272 if he can get registered by the NRL. No.271 will be Jordan McLean, who will be making his debut for the club on Friday against the Sharks in Johnathan Thurston’s 300th Telstra Premiership game.
Injuries to Kane Linnett and Lachlan Coote have opened the door for Javid Bowen to come in at centre and Ben Hampton to fill the fullback role, while Te Maire Martin has been named as a bench utility.
“It’s a special milestone for any player when they pull on the jersey for the first time, Jordan’s fitted in really well, he’s been training hard and I’m really excited about what he brings to the team, it should be, hopefully, a good night,” Green said.