NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 24: Jarryd Hayne of the Eels warms up during the NRL Trial Match between the Newcastle Knights and the Parramatta Eels at Maitland No 1 Showground on February 24, 2018 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Jarryd Hayne is back home. Back to the Eels where he belongs.

After an unhappy stint with the Gold Coast Titans via NFL and 7’s Rugby, he is back. Eels fans don’t rejoice just yet. He may be back at the Eels in body but has he turned up mentally.

To me, the excited Jarryd Hayne that left the Eels in 2014 to challenge himself and follow his dream of playing NFL in America has never come back. His return to rugby league with Gold Coast Titans did not live up to anyone’s expectations. Many suggested it was due to his feud with coach Neil Henry.

Jarryd has not looked happy bar his “This is my house!” field goal at Campbelltown in late 2016. He made State of Origin in 2017 based on his reputation alone. Yet from an outsider, even Origin didn’t spark him.

So, what is behind his apparent unhappiness and lack of enthusiasm? Something Hayne said in his press conference announcing his move to NFL was that he had achieved everything he wanted to achieve in NRL. If you dissect that, you would note that he had never won a Premiership but he was content to leave without a Premiership ring. Hayne was bored with rugby league and as with anyone who has worked in a job for a few years, you can get bored. You look for other challenges.

For Hayne, that was NFL. He wanted something that would regenerate him mentally and physically. What he was able to achieve in NFL was nothing short of miraculous. The chances of making an NFL squad of 53 from outside of the College system is extremely low. Think about this, 3000 young men from the College system nominate themselves for the NFL draft each year. Of those, only about 220 are drafted and of those drafted only half make it onto the 53 man rosters. So for Jarryd to make the roster of an NFL team in a game he had never played and get actual game time is just phenomenal.

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SANTA CLARA, CA – OCTOBER 18: Running back Jarryd Hayne #38 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sidelines during their NFL game against the Baltimore Ravens at Levi’s Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Once Hayne reached his goal of making the roster, I think it started to dawn on him he would be at best a back up running back or special teams player. Meaning little or no game time. With a change of Head Coach of the 49ers at the end of his first season, he would have to reprove himself to justify his place on the roster for the next season.

The reward to be a bit player was not enough for Jarryd and the NFL dream was over. He could have easily walked back into rugby league at that juncture for huge money but he chose to follow another dream. Winning an Olympic Gold Medal in Rugby Union. That to me was a sign he had little desire to play rugby league, he was still bored with it.

When his attempt failed to break into an already established Fiji 7’s team so close to the Olympic Games, he had a choice big money French Rugby or a return to Australia. With a new baby to think of he came back home. Australian Rugby Union was a consideration but with no big money offers on the table and with Parramatta going through off-field scandals, the Gold Coast Titans was surprisingly announced as his new home.

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Again a press conference gave an insight into Hayne’s mind when bizarrely he talked more about Parramatta, than his new employers. He gave the impression if he couldn’t play for the Eels, he’d take the best money on offer until he could get back to his beloved Eels sometime in the foreseeable future.

His time on the Gold Coast was not enjoyable, where he struggled with form. His relationship with coach Neil Henry became the centre of a media circus of “it’s him or me” ultimatum of which he eventually won.

Now back with Eels after being granted a release from the Titans who were happy to see the back of him, it appears Hayne is still bored with rugby league. Brad Arthur now has the job to get Hayne motivated. If that is even possible.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 15: Jarryd Hayne of the Eels celebrates a try during the round 23 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on August 15, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Renee McKay/Getty Images)

The only person capable of that is Hayne himself.

Jarryd Hayne is a unique person and athlete. He has been a superstar rugby league player and a pioneer in his NFL endeavours.

He now needs to be honest with himself and Parramatta fans. Either be a rugby league player or walk away. There would be no shame in walking away, in fact, it would be respected.

Will we see the return of the Hayne Plane? Or have his wings been clipped for good?

9 COMMENTS

  1. BA will get the best out of him..
    even though I think fullback he’s best position is…I still think he can play really good in the centre
    Eels line up for round 1

    1: B French
    2: J Hoffman
    3: M Jennings
    4: J Hayne
    5: K Avau’a
    6: C Norman
    7: M Moses
    8: T Mannah ( C )
    9: C King
    10: D Alvaro
    11: M Mau
    12: B Takairangi
    13: N Brown

    14: K Edwards 106kg
    15: T Moeroa 112kg
    16: K Evans 110kg
    17: P Terepo 106kg
    18th B Scott

    * C Gutherson back round 4

    I think the eels need to go for a big bench

  2. I would swap Moeroa and Taka. I think Moeroa offers little to no impact from the banch, and Taka will play that role better.

    I do agree with a big bench though. Although Beau Scott will be there. He does the little things right when he comes on the field. He stiffens up the defence and he is a leader. I think this will definitely be his last year and the only thing that will keep him out of first grade is injury.The only thing is I don’t know who makes way for him from your team. Terepo seems the obvious one, but our size takes a hit.

  3. Yeah agree with beau Scott he’s a very good defender, but he’s getting way to old I think he’s time is just about up. There are to many younger guys coming thru the ranks ATM.. he only makes my team if there is an injury
    Terepo has to be there he’s the only one that runs hard and straight. He’s probably the closest thing to Fui Moi Moi

    We have a lot of depth this year guys like N Davis, G Leleisiuao, W Smith, G Jennings, R Stone, K Pritchard, S Matagi, S Vave, D Gower, T Williams, R Mahoney, M Nuikore will be playing for Wenty this year

    • My problem with Terepo is he struggles to put consecutive good games together. I love how he runs the ball, and he definitely could be that hard running prop that we are missing, but he needs to work on his consistency to be considered a definite.

      I actually think it will be Edwards who has to fight for his spot in the team this year. With Taka moving to the back row, and the lack of size in the pack, he may be squeezed out. His biggest problem is that every time he does something good for the team, he seems to follow it up with something stupid, and I can’t see BA tolerating that for much longer, especially given the depth as you have mentioned.

      • Agreed, agreed and agreed, with both posts. I’d add:
        Taka’s would also cover the utility role from the bench.
        Scott’s composure can have a massive impact on the entire team. There was 1 game in particular last year where we were losing the plot big time, enter Scott, and his “just do the basics” and we were a structured outfit again, almost instantly. He’s in the 17 for sure.
        Edwards. He plays the bad boy role well, too well, and it’s getting to the point where I’m worried every time he’s in / even near the play.
        I could make a case for pretty much any of our forwards to be included in the line up, but at the end of the day most are around 6 foot / 105kg’s. Hopefully Williams can find form, and between him and Evans we’ve added some size.

  4. JH is a $500k player now. way less pressure than the top dosh he was on before.

    he is already doing his first job. taking the media focus of the rest of the squad so they can just turn up and play. norman and moses will no doubt be happy if the papers focus on hayne all year and they can just play.

  5. Gutherson will have his best season if he stays uninjured. If Parra have as much enthusiasm as 2017 they will be a threat. Here’s hoping for them that Jarred puts in.

  6. Said it once and will say it again.
    He is a washed up bum and I didn’t and still don’t want him back at the Eels.

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