Todd Carney has declared he wants to make a return to the NRL, insisting the game’s bosses would see he’s a changed man if given the chance.
Carney has returned to play for the Northern Pride in the Queensland Cup this season, knocking back a million-dollar deal to stay in the English Super League with Hull KR.
The shift has put him one step closer to an NRL comeback, after the former NSW five-eighth left the league after being sacked by Cronulla and deregistered in 2014 for the infamous “bubbler” incident.
“That’s one of the big reasons why I want to come back and play. Not to be remembered for the so-called bubbler,” Carney told Channel Nine.
“I appreciate what I lost and what I had. To get that back would be a dream come true again,”
“For them (NRL bosses) to sit there in front of me and (let me) explain what’s happened in the past four years and where I’m at, I’m pretty sure they would see it’s a different Todd.”
Carney’s rap sheet includes repeated drink driving offences, including one instance where he was handed a suspended jail sentence for leading police on a chase before fleeing.
For a comeback to be considered, a club would have to apply to the NRL to register his contract – something chief executive Todd Greenberg claims is yet to have happened.
Regardless, Carney – now aged 31 – believes he can still match it in the NRL.
“I’m not going to blame it on being young, I was stupid,” he said.
“I think I’ve become a better player, a smarter player. I definitely still believe I can handle the NRL.