Lewis wants NRL outcast Carney at Panthers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lewis wants NRL outcast Carney at Panthers

Joe Barton 15/09/2011 05:52:03 PM Comments (0)

Senior Penrith forward Luke Lewis would welcome wayward NRL star Todd Carney "with open arms" if the sacked Sydney Roosters playmaker linked with the Panthers next year.

Carney was released from the Bondi club earlier this month after a string of alcohol-related off-field dramas but has stated his desire to stay in the NRL and, if Lewis has his way, he could find a home at the foot of the mountains.

"I would welcome him with open arms. He's a world class player," Lewis told reporters on Thursday.

"Obviously, he's had a few dramas off the field, but he's a champion player.

"I know the bloke, he's a great fella off the field and he's a champion player on the field and I think he's still got so much more to give to the NRL.

"I'd love to see him in the black colours, to be honest."

Lewis said it would be a waste of talent if Carney was lost to the NRL and had to continue his career overseas - before calling on Penrith general manager of football Phil Gould to sign the former Dally M medal winner.

"Hopefully, he stays in the NRL. I think it would be a waste of talent if he goes," Lewis added.

"... You never know what could happen, I suppose. Hopefully, Gus (Gould) gets into his ear, gets him out to Penny and gets the Penrith boys rolling for the 2012 season."

Carney also has been strongly linked with Cronulla, and Sharks skipper Paul Gallen again confirmed that he would like the club to enter discussions with the 25-year-old - but said he had no control over what would happen.

"I wouldn't mind having him, but it's not my decision. It's got nothing to do with me," Gallen told AAP.

"I don't even know what Toddy wants to do. He might not even want to play with us.

"I don't think there's too much point going into it that much."

While a player of Carney's undoubted on-field potential would be valuable to the Sharks, Gallen pointed out that the halves were not a position of weakness for the shire club.

This season saw the emergence of five-eighth Albert Kelly as an attacking force before a broken leg derailed his season, while halfback Chad Townsend enjoyed a strong debut season and fellow half Wade Graham had his most productive campaign in first grade.

The club has also signed veteran half Jeff Robson from Parramatta.

"We've got some good players there, and they're all young too so they've had a year of experience now," Gallen said.

"They've just got to step it up next year."

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