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What next for the Hayne plane?

Posted on 01/12 by Joe Gann

What next for the Hayne plane?
Will the signing of Jarryd Hayne have a positive impact on the Eels?

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Jarryd Hayne has failed to honour his contract with the Gold Coast Titans and instead chosen to exit the club by mutual consent. His desire to move back to Sydney’s Western suburbs has resulted in a return to former club the Parramatta Eels and sees the NSW star turn his back on the club who threw him a career lifeline after his failed venture into the world of the NFL.

Last year saw the undignified public feud with former Titans’ boss Neil Henry escalate to such an extent that the coach was relieved of his duties with Hayne emerging the victor of the power struggle. Despite the club appearing to back their record signing, the Fiji international now departs merely three months later.

Club officials have attempted to put a positive spin on the situation, however, with CEO Graham Annesley announcing that “Although it hasn’t worked out as everyone had hoped, including Jarryd, the club has benefited in many ways from his presence.” A generous assessment for what is a deeply disappointing conclusion for the club considering the concessions they have afforded the player.

His arrival at Parramatta poses a dilemma regarding where he could fit into a side that qualified for their first finals run in eight years and is no longer in urgent need of their former star. With Hayne currently forging his way in the centres, he may not find his path clear when it comes to nailing down a starting berth in his more familiar fullback slot, with Clint Gutherson and Bevan French sharing the No 1 duties. The halves combination of Mitchell Moses and Corey Norman was also beginning to bear fruit as the last campaign progressed, and it would be nonsensical for that particular partnership to be disrupted at this embryonic stage.

His performances at centre for NSW were not entirely convincing in this year’s Origin, and the last year as a whole has been underwhelming for the ‘Hayne plane.’ Question marks remain over the wisdom of Parramatta pursuing his signature; his undoubted talent has not been on display on a regular enough basis, and the quandary facing Brad Arthur is where he can accommodate his big-name acquisition.

The surprising consequence of Hayne’s impending move has been the lengthening of the Eels’ Premiership odds, with punters unconvinced by the value of his re-signing – the Blue and Gold have drifted out to fifth favourites at $13 on the back of the news.

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