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Warriors' chief executive Wayne Scurrah denies the club is in the mix to sign Todd Carney, and says any meeting between the player and Warriors' coach Matt Elliott was purely coincidental.
Reports in the Australian media today claimed the Warriors had made a bid for the Cronulla five-eighth, but Scurrah said the club had made no contact with Carney's representatives.
The 26-year-old was in the country last month to support partner Lauryn Eagle and Cronulla captain Paul Gallen at the Fight for Life charity boxing event, and the Daily Telegraph reported Elliott met with Carney while he was in Auckland.
Scurrah said that meeting may have taken place but he insisted it was merely a case of the two men, having worked together at the Canberra Raiders, catching up rather than discussing business.
"We certainly haven't had any talks with his agent or anything like that," Scurrah said. "I think it's more that [Carney] played with [Elliott].
"I understand there were quite a few players supporting guys like Paul Gallen fighting. Matt and our players were at Fight for Life, so it was more coincidence in terms of catching up."
The Daily Telegraph reported interest from the Warriors and the St George Illawarra Dragons led to the Sharks offering Carney an extended three-year contract, something Scurrah said would stand to reason.
"He's contracted, and I don't think Cronulla would be looking to release him at the start of the season."
Having lost James Maloney to the Sydney Roosters, the Warriors have signed Thomas Leuluai and Harry Siejka to fill the void in the halves, although a combination between Carney and Shaun Johnson would be an appealing proposition.
After breaking into the NRL under Elliott at Canberra in 2003, Carney was axed by the Raiders in 2008 following a string of off-field misdemeanours.
He came back from a season-long ban to win the Dally M Medal while playing for the Sydney Roosters in 2010, before being released from his contract the next year after breaking a team alcohol ban.
Carney signed with the Sharks on a two-year deal last season and enjoyed another season of redemption, including making his State of Origin debut for New South Wales.
- By Kris Shannon of APNZ and Cameron McMillan of Herald Online