NRL players feel Carney was unfairly treated

Last updated 15:28 07/08/2014
Todd Carney
SUPPORT: A vast majority of NRL players believe disgraced former Shark Todd Carney should be allowed to return to rugby league.

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The vast majority of his fellow players believe serial bad boy Todd Carney should be permitted to return to the NRL.

Carney was axed by his third NRL club in June when cut by Cronulla following the publication of an unsavoury image on social media.

The game's governing body has indicated the former NSW five-eighth is unlikely to be permitted to play again in the NRL, but in the anonymous poll published in Rugby League Week today, 78 per cent of players interviewed believe Carney should be given another chance.

In a further show of support, 68 per cent of players interviewed felt the disgraced playmaker should not have been sacked by the Sharks.

However, 18 per cent believe he should never be allowed to play in the world's premier rugby league competition again, while four per cent were undecided.

Carney was shown the door by Canberra in 2008 after a series of off-field indiscretions and was sacked by the Sydney Roosters after repeated ill discipline, including breaking an alcohol ban.

The poll is likely to be worrying reading for NRL boss Dave Smith, who has publicly stated his desire to rid the game of poor off-field behaviour following Carney's sacking.

Speaking on NRL 360, Newcastle forward Willie Mason backed the poll's findings.

''He deserves another chance,'' Mason said.

''He got the sack unfairly. For him to come back into the NRL, he needs to come to a club and say 'I'm not going to drink while I'm here'.

''Because all of these incidents are alcohol related. So he needs to go to a club and say 'I'm not going to drink the whole time',  and promise it.''

Carney has been linked to a possible move to French Super League side Catalans Dragons.

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