4 Nov 2010

Carney wins top award

5:41 am on 4 November 2010

The Sydney Roosters playmaker Todd Carney completed his stunning return to rugby league by picking up the International Rugby League Player of the Year award.

Carney, who only joined the Roosters at the start of 2010 after being sacked by Canberra in 2008 and banned for a year for a series of off-field indiscretions, received the award from former Australian captain Wally Lewis at the awards dinner at Eden Park.

The 24-year-old is the third Australian in the three-year history of the award to pick up the prize, which is voted on by members of the international media and former players.

He follows in the footsteps of Melbourne's Billy Slater and Parramatta fullback Jarryd Hayne who won in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

The Kiwis captain Benji Marshall was a finalist for the award.

St george-Illawarra's Wayne Bennett was named coach of the year, while the Kiwi Shaun Kenny-Dowall was named centre of the year.