Todd Carney and Dave Taylor released by Catalans
Last Updated: 18/10/16 12:15pm
Former Australia internationals Todd Carney and Dave Taylor have been released by Catalans Dragons.
Stand-off Carney, 30, who had two years left on his contract, and prop forward Taylor, 28, who was halfway through a two-year deal, have become part of a major clear-out by the Dragons following a dismal end to the 2016 season in which they won two of their last 13 league and cup matches.
They take the total number of players exiting the Gilbert Brutus Stadium into double figures while football manager Sebastien Raguin, a former player, has also left the club.
A statement from the Perpignan club said: "Catalans Dragons can confirm that Todd Carney, Morgan Escare and Dave Taylor have been released from the remainder of their contracts by mutual agreement.
"The club can also confirm that head of strength and conditioning Fred Marcerou, his assistant Benoit Albert and football manager Sebastien Raguin have also left the club to give a new orientation to their respective careers.
"The club would like to wish them all the best for the future. There will be no further comment issued by Catalans Dragons on this matter."
Escare has signed for Wigan while Taylor has been offered trials by Canberra Raiders and Carney also looks set to return to the NRL.
The 19st 5lb Taylor made 26 appearances in his first season in Super League and caught the eye with his robust style of play but also incurred the wrath of referees and served two suspensions for foul play during the year.
Canberra say Taylor can join them for the start of pre-season training and, if they are satisfied with his progress, he will be offered two trial games.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said: "If David achieves his goals and is then offered a small playing fee for 2017, he has made better choices for himself, his family and his football. It has shown he has bought in and committed to turning himself around.
"The Raiders have the resources in turning David into a regular NRL player but it's up to David to show if he wants it bad enough."
The former Brisbane, South Sydney and Gold Coast forward will need approval from the NRL before he can sign any deal.
He is due in a Gold Coast court in November for sentencing after pleading guilty to cocaine possession and is likely to be ordered to undertake drug counselling to have his return approved.
Carney, the 2010 international player of the year, will also need any return to be sanctioned by the governing body.
He joined the Perpignan club two years ago following his sacking by Cronulla after a lewd photograph was circulated on social media.
Carney was also dismissed by his previous clubs, Canberra and Sydney Roosters, for off-field behaviour and the Catalans had to agree to a series of conditions and place a £50,000 bond with the RFL before they were able to register him.
The talented half-back, who was forced to complete a player welfare programme, enjoyed a low profile in the south of France, where the Dragons steadfastly refused all media interview requests with the player.
Carney, who signed a new three-year deal just 12 months ago, made just 12 appearances in his first season and, although he has played 21 matches this year, he has continued to be dogged by injury.