Sydney Roosters star Todd Carney is out of Friday’s NRL season opener against South Sydney at the Sydney Football Stadium. Carney, who has endured a torrid lead-up to the start of the new campaign, following his arrest for drink-driving 10 days ago, has not been named in the Roosters side after failing to recover from January groin surgery. The Dally M Medallist sustained the injury playing for Australia in the Four Nations clash with New Zealand in Auckland in October. Coach Brian Smith named Braith Anasta at five-eighth alongside Mitchell Pearce with Carney expected to be back for the round two clash with Manly. However, the Roosters are boosted by the surprise return of secondrower Mitch Aubusson who had been expected to be sidelined until round four with a shoulder injury. Souths coach John Lang said he had been preparing for Carney to play and believed the troubled playmaker’s off-field problems would have no effect on his game. “He had a great season last year and I see no reason why he won’t pick up where he left off last year,” Lang said. “Often for players, the game and training, if there’s been a few problems that can be a bit of a relief for them rather than another pressure.” Continue reading

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