Brian Carney (rugby) : biography
Brian Carney ( born 23 July 1976) is an Irish professional rugby league commentator and former dual-code rugby international player. He most recently played rugby league for the Warrington Wolves, but during his career has played for Super League clubs Gateshead Thunder, Hull and Wigan Warriors, as well as National Rugby League club, Newcastle Knights. Carney crossed codes to play rugby union for Munster, from 2007 to 2009. He earned caps for international representation, for Ireland in both rugby league and rugby union, and also Great Britain in rugby league. He also played Gaelic football as a junior.
Early rugby league career
His first rugby league experience came with Irish amateurs Dublin Blues. He first made an impression on the rugby league scene playing for the Irish Students side in a home international tournament in 1998. His impressive form led to a number of Super League clubs vying for his talents and he opted to sign with Gateshead Thunder. He played for Gateshead in the 1999 season and moved with them to Hull after the clubs merged in 2000.
He finished his career at Warrington at the end of 2009 and regularly appears on SKY Sports.
Carney played Gaelic football for Valleymount GAA and won a junior championship medal in 1998 with the club. He also played rugby union at Clongowes Wood College and Lansdowne R.F.C.
In June 2005 Carney agreed to join new NRL franchise, the Gold Coast Titans at the end of his current Wigan contract. Upon signing the deal, Gold Coast managing director Michael Searle told NRL's official website, www.nrl.com: "The guy genuinely wanted to come here. He wants to challenge himself in the National Rugby League". Carney was to remain at the Warriors for the 2006 season, but a month later he agreed a release from the final year of his Wigan contract to play in the NRL with the Newcastle Knights. At the time Carney commented: "I'm very grateful to Wigan, they didn't have to do it (release him from his contract) but I explained my desire to get there because I feel time is running out."
Carney scored 16 tries in 26 games for the Knights, including guiding his team to a 22–12 win over the Canberra Raiders with a hat-trick of tries. After the game Carney expressed no desire to remain with the Knights, choosing to honour his contract with the Gold Coast Titans. However on 16 January 2007 he announced his retirement from all forms of rugby after only participating in one training session with the Titans, indicating that he wished to finish his legal studies and spend more time with his family.
International Rugby Union
In April 2007, Carney was named in the Ireland squad for their tour of Argentina. In the first test, his international debut, he scored an interception try minutes into the game. Carney was selected in the Irish squad for the 2007 Rugby Union World Cup. However, he did not make an appearance at the tournament.
Carney made a try scoring debut for the Barbarians against the Scarlets on 31 January 2009. He participated in the Dubai World Cup Sevens as part of a 12 man Irish squad, finishing up as joint top Irish try scorer with 3 tries. Though in a tough pool stage including Samoa, Australia and Portugal, they did manage to defeat Australia 24–21, with Carney getting a try. He scored 2 more tries in the Bowl Semi-Final win over Hong Kong. They went on to lose 14–17 to Zimbabwe in the Bowl Final for an overall ranking of 10th, but by beating Australia showed that Ireland have the class to compete with the best.
Return to rugby league
On 2 June 2009, the Warrington Wolves announced that they had signed Carney for the remainder of 2009's Super League XIV. The move was Carney's fifth signing to a rugby league team in his playing career, at the age of 32. On the 2 June 2009 edition of the Sky Sports rugby league magazine show, Boots N' All, Carney vehemently denied that a return to rugby league would lead to a subsequent career with the English national team, in favour of his own native team. Carney provided commentary for Sky Sport's coverage of the 2009 Super League Grand Final and the 2009 Gillette Four Nations tournament.
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