Search icon


31st Aug 2021

Delivery the key as Brian Carney sets Eddie Jones straight about rugby league

Patrick McCarry

One of Carney’s finest moments.

As someone that played rugby league for years, before switching to union and going to the World Cup with Ireland, Brian Carney is a fair judge on what it takes to make it in both disciplines.

Carney is also someone who does not take sleights, or digs, without an appropriate response.

Back in 2019, he called out a Sky Sports colleague for talking about a combined ‘Great Britain’ league selection when it was, in fact, Great Britain & Ireland. He declared:

“Can we start with a geography lesson and a sovereignty lesson as well, please?… An independent country, Ireland, is also a part of this make-up. Unless that’s changed, I’m going to go with Great Britain and Ireland.”

Fast forward to Sky’s league coverage, at the weekend, and England [union] head coach Eddie Jones was down at Halliwell Jones Stadium to watch Warrington take on St Helen’s in the Super League.

Interviewed down at the sideline, Jones was asked if there was a current league star that ‘might make it in rugby union’. The Aussie replied:

“I spent a bit of time up at Hull, recently, and I like the fullback, Jake Connor. He’s a tough, skilful player – I am sure if he got fitter he could make it.”

Like a light, Carney came back with one hell of a rejoinder:

“A rugby league player needing to get fitter to play rugby union – we have had a magician in here tonight and now we have a comedian!

“Thanks very much to Eddie Jones for his contribution.”

It is worth pointing out that the strength & conditioning coach [Jon Clarke] and attack coach [Martin Gleeson] of the England rugby union team are both from league backgrounds.

Jones has taken a keen interest in league, and what ways it can benefit union. One suspects, was just firing one of his cheeky digs, but Carney was more than ready for it.

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?