HULL KR star Justin Carney says he is quitting professional rugby league at the age of just 30 to head home to Australia to be with his kids – and give back to ‘bush footy’ where things aren’t so ‘fake’.
The robust winger first arrived in the UK with Castleford Tigers in 2013 and scored 72 tries in just 67 games before leaving in controversial circumstances.
He joined Salford Red Devils but left there in May of last year after receiving a ban of eight games for racial abuse.
Although an independent tribunal accepted Carney was “not a racist”, he departed Salford to join Rovers helping them to promotion and proving a big part of their return to Super League.
Out of contract at the end of this season, the East Yorkshire club offered the spectacular wideman a new deal but he has decided to return home once he has hopefully negotiated them safely out of the Qualifiers.
“I’m done. I’m finished. I’ve had enough now,” Carney revealed. “I need to be back near my kids. My son’s five and my daughter will be three in October. At this point in time it’s the best thing for me mentally on what’s been a hard journey.
“My main concern is to be nearer them, be a good role model for them where they can actually physically see me, if not every day then every couple of days and a lot more than now.
“Their future is very important to me. That’s why I play this game; I don’t play for the fans, I don’t play for the perks or any of that I simply play for my kids.
“If I do them proud then I don’t give a toss about anyone else.”
Carney praised Rovers head coach Tim Sheens for “saving me again” after signing him from Salford where he also worked under the revered Australian.
He also hailed the Robins as the best club he has ever played with but is looking forward to returning to his country roots – he was born in the outback New South Wales town of Dubbo – and playing part-time once more.
Carney, who will line up against Halifax on Sunday, said: “Going back to where I come from, country rugby league and where I grew up, there’s a lot more genuine people there.
“There’s a lot of fake people (here) and people don’t take you on face value anymore; it’s all about social media and all that rubbish.
“It’s not how the world should work in my eyes. That’s my opinion anyway.”
I owe a lot to this club and they have helped me through the transition through a lot of disruption in my life because of things brought up about me which simplay ain’t true.
Former Hull KR star Ben Cockyane, 35, has agreed a one-year deal to carry on playing with York City Knights next season.