Rooster Carney 'worthy of Test call-up' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rooster Carney 'worthy of Test call-up'

By Steve Jancetic 03/08/2010 06:01:26 PM Comments (0)

Having resurrected the Sydney Roosters, Mitchell Pearce believes Todd Carney is now on the verge of the ultimate Lazarus-like feat - going from banished park footballer to Australian Test star.

Just days out from the Roosters' acid test against NRL ladder leaders St George Illawarra at the SCG, Pearce claimed his halves partner's performances were deserving of the highest accolade - a berth in the end of season Four Nations squad.

A green and gold jumper would complete a stunning turnaround for Carney, whose career was at the crossroads less than two years ago when shown the door by Canberra.

"Maybe I'm going overboard but I just reckon he's been brilliant, added so much to our team," Pearce said.

"If he keeps going the way he's going I reckon he might get picked for Australia at the end of the year.

"If you look at his games over the last four weeks - Haynesy's been on fire but Toddy's been up there with the same sort of form."

Pearce credited Carney - along with coach Brian Smith and veteran prop Jason Ryles - with being the catalyst for the club's resurgence this year.

After finishing dead last to collect the club's fifth wooden spoon in 2009, the Roosters have surged to third on the ladder on the back of five straight wins - and it is no coincidence the streak has coincided with Carney's shift to five-eighth.

Forced to spend a year in the footballing wilderness after being cut by Canberra following one alcohol-related incident too many, no-one knew quite what to expect from Carney in his NRL return this year.

But having been brilliantly eased back into the action from fullback by coach Smith, Carney has lifted his game to another level since being moved to the scrumbase alongside Pearce.

"He's been one of the best signings for the club in a while ... I've got a massive wrap on him," Pearce said.

"I'm loving playing with Toddy, it's just been real natural.

"It's good to have someone when you're playing in the halves to bounce ideas off."

And while he admits Sunday's blockbuster against front-runners St George Illawarra - who boast the stingiest defence in the league - will be his side's toughest test, Pearce warned the Roosters' NRL rivals that the best was yet to come.

"We've really only played four games together," Pearce said of his halves combination with Carney.

"We've been saying after every game that we've been picking up on things that we knew we should be doing heaps better ... there's still little things that I think we can be a lot more dangerous with.

"Everyone's been talking about how we've been attacking really well, but the Dragons don't seem to leak more than 12-16 points a game, so (their) defence is going to be massive for us this week.

"This is the sort of game where after you've had a good run, it's the challenge that we need."

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