It’s been an interesting journey for Carroll. While always being close to Queenslanders hearts, the experienced Carroll has spent time in the UK Super League, played for Australia and even played at International level for the New Zealand Kiwi’s side. Very few can claim such a long list of achiements in Rugby League.
His physical presence alone dominated opposition players; with Carroll regularly driving attackers into the dirt and creating nightmares for his enemies when he had the ball in his hand. It’s easy to see why; the thought of the heavy but mobile Carroll running at you would give anyone night terrors.
While given the task of protecting Darren Lockyer more recently when Lockyer was moved to five eighth, Carroll has taken on a new role of the senior mentor within the Broncos side. His faultless defence and high workrate have regularly helped Brisbane win matches. His change in role has also helped prolong his career, as previously the amount of work in both attack in defence from Carroll would have easily nullified his impact and his longevity.
The problem for Tonie Carroll of late has been the injury factor. Like so many other experienced NRL players; Tonie Carroll just can’t seem to keep his aging body together for long periods. So often his dynamic and exciting work on the NRL field would be punctuated by an agonizing injury and long spell on the sideline. While Wayne Bennett would have not wanted to lose Carroll, surely everyone in the Broncos camp has agreed it’s time to freshen the crop for future years – with Carroll to mentor the juniors this year and put his bulky frame on ice and retire in 2009.
While achieving so much in the game; it would be fitting for the likeable Carroll to end the year on a high note. Certainly a tough ask with Brisbanes green crop of players – however some smart buys at the Broncos might just give Carroll and his team the boost it needs for NRL 2008.