Hey Sticky, play lazy Hayne at lock

Curtis Woodward Roar Guru

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    Parramatta's Jarryd Hayne (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Grant Trouville)

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    Apparently Jarryd Hayne is lazy. People believe his work rate is below average and he refuses to interject himself into matches despite being far and away the best player in a horrible Parramatta Eels side.

    You cannot argue with any of that.

    So what the hell does coach Ricky Stuart do with his most prized possession?

    Despite a sensational 2009 season that saw him capture the Dally M Medal, and a handful of impressive appearances in State of Origin, Hayne has floundered just when his team has needed him most.

    The erosion of the Eels in recent years has added to the pressure on Hayne.

    Former coaches have tried throwing him into five-eighth and force him to create the plays. But even with Hayne in a playmaking role, Parramatta struggled.

    If Hayne could pass to Hayne, maybe the Eels would be okay.

    Unfortunately, as good as he could be, Hayne can’t be the playmaker in this Eels side.

    But he also can’t sit at fullback and watch from a distance as his side gets annihilated week after week.

    Where do you play him?

    What could you possibly do to keep him involved in the game and get every last drop of energy out of their captain?

    This might be from left field, but why not throw him into the forward pack at lock?

    Everyone forgets that 2009 was four long years ago. Maybe he isn’t the player he once was.

    At 6 foot 2 and 100 kilograms, he is definitely big enough. Nobody is saying he has to take the first run every set, but by playing him in the pack you force him to be a part of the game.

    Whether it be in attack or defence, Hayne would always be around the ruck, and allowing him to roam the paddock without having to return the ball from fullback would conserve some energy.

    At the end of the day Hayne needs to be a ball runner in this Parramatta side. At lock he can still play his natural game, but at least you are throwing the game back in his face.

    And you never know, he might even enjoy the rough stuff. Its not like he doesn’t enjoy a confrontation, and if Hayne stands up, his team will follow. It would also be a chance for Hayne to show Eels fans how much he truly wants to lead this club.

    Don’t forget that former Canberra Raiders fullback Josh Dugan is still a free agent.

    If the Eels could somehow get Dugan before St George Illawarra Dragons or others can, Hayne could be shifted away from the number one jersey.

    Playing Hayne at lock isn’t such an unreasonable idea if Dugan showed up at Parramatta Stadium.

    The Eels currently have around 20 off-contract players on their books, and despite Corey Norman and Will Hopoate headed to the club, have another ten players looking for renewals in 2014.

    There is still time for the Eels to nab Dugan.

    But Hayne could still be a success at lock without Dugan.

    Where is the harm in throwing him in there and seeing how he reacts when he is knocked around a little?

    Lets see how much ticker he really has.