Todd Carney will replace Darren Lockyer in Kangaroos team to play the Kiwis

It may be a few days old but I like this article from The Australian.


RUGBY LEAGUE: Newly crowned international player of the year Todd Carney believes the time has come to stop reflecting on the past.

He wants everyone to focus on his future, which now includes a first Test jumper.

The Sydney Roosters five-eighth was named yesterday in Australia’s team to play New Zealand in tomorrow’s Four Nations match at Eden Park. Carney has replaced captain Darren Lockyer, one of seven changes for the Kangaroos.

St George Illawarra utility Dean Young, Tigers centre Chris Lawrence and Cowboys prop Matt Scott will also make their debuts, while Clive Churchill medallist Darius Boyd, backrower Greg Bird and hooker Robbie Farah have regained a green and gold jumper.

Carney’s remarkable comeback after a year out of the game following his sacking by Canberra has been widely reported. And while the 24-year-old stops short of saying he is sick of talking about it, he is keen to move on with his life.

“It has been a good year and it has been well documented what I have come back from,” Carney said.

“I am proud of what I have achieved and how I have come back, but I am here to do a job and play football and I would rather hear people talk about my footy and not talk so much about my life away from it.”

Australia coach Tim Sheens last month described Carney as Lockyer’s logical heir apparent in the No 6 jumper, but the Dally M medal winner said he was enjoying the experience of learning from the Brisbane, Queensland and Australia great.

“I am here now and waiting in the background behind Locky. I am happy to sit in his shadow and learn from him, and when it is my turn to have a crack I will hopefully take it,” Carney said.

“It will be the highest level I will have played at and it is a great honour to have finally achieved that. I am really excited and want to soak it up and put my best foot forward and try and get in the side to play in the final.

“I had a bit of a chat with Locky about my role and he gave me a few tips at training and it really paid off.”

Sheens denied Carney and Boyd, who will replace Billy Slater at fullback, were just in the side to give their better credentialled teammates a rest.

“Billy has a shoulder injury that he has been managing and Darren has taken some pretty heavy knocks and it’s well known that at the back end of the season he had some significant issues with injury,” Sheens said.

“Darren could play if he had to, but I am very confident with these two lads coming into the side.

“Positions six and one seem to be the argument that everyone is having about the team, but there is no doubt that Carney and Boyd have been in better form all year than their counterparts and I don’t think we lose anything by giving those two a chance.”

Hooker Cameron Smith will deputise as captain while Bird and David Shillington also move into the starting line-up.

Sheens revealed that Farah, who replaces Anthony Watmough on the bench, would see plenty of game time in a move that could be repeated in the final tomorrow week.

“I intend to use Farah and Cameron the same way the Kiwis use their two hookers,” Sheens said. “Robbie will be used to improve our dummy-half speed in the same way Issac Luke does for the Kiwis, so don’t be surprised to see Robbie come on when Luke does.

“This is so we can counter-balance that threat and add some dash to our ruck area.”



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