Will Ricky Stuart sack Hayne as Eels fullback?
Will new Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart change his mind and sack the Eels’ best player and fullback Jarryd Hayne?
Stuart has been vocal over the last two years that Hayne is a five-eighth and not a fullback, and refused to select him in his club position for Origin last year when the Blues were desperate.
Embarrassingly he preferred Anthony Minichiello, who had a shocker in the deciding third game.
Stuart wrote in his Sunday Telegraph column on April 15th this year: “A lot of people had their opinions on not only what I said last year about Jarryd being a five-eighth, but why.
“I didn’t say it to embarrass him. I didn’t say it because I had something against him and was looking to bring attention to him, as some alleged. I said it because I believed it. And I still do.
“The shape and structure of where he plays best is a classic five-eighth and not that of a fullback,” he added
The justification for his decision prior to Origin 2011 was “If you watched Jarryd Hayne play last night (against North Queensland) he played more like a second five-eighth or a five-eighth, and I think five-eighth is his best position. That is just me as a coach.”
“I think with Jarryd Hayne at fullback, he can play well but I have got to look to the future.
“I am being as honest as I can be; I am not here to try and gloss over it all or make it warm and fuzzy. That is my opinion.”
Well, based on what we have seen from the Eels this year, there is no competition for the five-eighth position, so Ricky should have no problems in putting his money where his mouth is.
I have a heap of mates who are mad Eels supporters and have done it very tough for a long while, and I sincerely hope that Ricky can turn the famous club around, but I have not seen anything from the playing list or the incoming coach’s resume that would excite me.
I hope I am wrong but Ricky Stuart would be one of the few coaches in the game who does not think Jarryd Hayne is a fullback.
Like his many about-fronts in Origin, can we expect him to have a change of heart?
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