Carney joins Union side Munster

Former Great Britain rugby league international Brian Carney has switched codes by signing a two-year contract with Munster.

The 30-year-old winger retired from rugby league two months ago but has now agreed to try his hand at the 15-man game in his native Ireland.

Carney spent last season in Australia's National Rugby League with Newcastle Knights but opted to hang up his boots rather than play on for Gold Coast Titans, with whom he had signed a two-year contract.

Munster have come to a compensation deal with the Titans and Carney has been immediately added to their squad for the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup.

"It's really a tremendous honour to be signed up by a club like Munster," Carney told the club's official website.

"My first objective is to get into that Munster side and become a player that the players want in the team.

"To do that I know I have a lot of hard ahead of me. But I'm prepared to knuckle down and see how things progress.

"Knowing the history of the club, it is a huge honour and I hope I can become a part of a winning successful side."

Munster coach Declan Kidney commented: "Given the injury situation in relation to Shaun Payne, Mossie Lawlor and Anthony Horgan, I think it's particularly opportune to acquire someone of Brian's stature and experience for the end-of-season matches in Magners League and Heineken Cup."

The code switch is the latest chapter in the career of the much travelled Dubliner, who has also had stints with Gateshead, Hull and Wigan in English rugby league.

He represented Ireland at the 2000 rugby league World Cup and won 14 caps for the Lions, the last of which came against Australia five months ago.

The ultimate aim for Carney will be to become a dual code international by forcing his way into Eddie O'Sullivan's Ireland squad, although September's World Cup is likely to come around too soon.