Hull Kingston Rovers have secured the signing until the end of the 2018 season of hulking winger Justin Carney from Salford Red Devils.
Carney, 28 will need to secure a visa and work permit before the deal can be ratified.
Though the move is immediate Carney cannot make his Robins debut until they travel to play Sheffield at the end of June at the very earliest as he is 3 games into an eight game ban he received for racially abusing ex Robin and Leeds player Ryan Bailey (pictured in his Robins days) during the 5th round Challenge Cup tie between Salford and Toronto Wolfpack.
Carney was allowed to leave the Red Devils today after the conclusion of an internal investigation into the latest incident involving the fiery Aussie by the Manchester club. A statement read “Justin Carney is to join Hull KR with immediate effect, after the club reached an agreement with the player and his representatives”. “Justin leaves by mutual consent following the conclusion of an internal investigation”.
A controversial figure on and off the field, Carney is an undoubted talent and proven Super League quality who when available will give the Robins physicality in the back line. He is as strong as an Ox with speed to compliment his considerable bulk, with a knack of getting a quick play the ball, putting opposing sides on the back foot.
Carney plays the game on the edge and on occasions his ‘aggression’ attracts attention from officials and opposing fans alike, falling foul of both, but it also makes his game as well.
A controlled and on form Carney is one of the best wingers in the English game and his signature is a real coup for Tim Sheens (below). Sheens having worked with Carney at Salford last season will know what he is getting with Carney and must think he can keep him fit and focused on the job in hand.
Opposing fans will be quick to ‘remind’ Carney of his indiscretions and it will be Sheens and his staffs job to ensure that he doesn’t react adversely and concentrates solely on what he is paid to do, namely terrorise opposition wingers and cross the whitewash on a regular basis in the last 5 Championship fixtures and the middle 8 battle to follow.
The experienced Sheens would not have made the signing if he thought that the presence of Carney in his squad would have a detrimental effect on the group. Carney will certainly have the presence on the field to cause more than enough problems to opposing sides when he finally gets his chance.
Carney could quickly establish himself as a cult hero at KCOM Craven Park as long as he keeps his emotions in check and shows the devastating form he enjoyed in his Castleford Tigers days.
Salford moved quickly to replace Carney at the AJ Bell stadium when they announced the signing of Irish international utility forward James Hasson from the Parramatta Eels.