Jarryd Hayne to the Rugby World Cup? Here’s why that’s a terrible idea

Pat Smith Roar Guru

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    Jarryd Hayne played for Fiji at the Rugby League World Cup, but he shouldn't do the same in the 15-man code. (NRLPhotos/Ben Southall)

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    Rumours are abounding that notorious code-hopper Jarryd Hayne is eyeing off a switch to rugby union in an effort to represent Fiji at the 2019 World Cup.

    Not only is it difficult to believe these rumours, but another backflip for the world champion of contract acrobatics would be the worst move possible for him to make.

    Fox Sports is reporting that, according to “sources”, there is genuine interest from the Fiji national team in Hayne and that coach John McKee’s “door [is] open”.

    That may be true, but I’m sure any A-League club’s door would be open to Lionel Messi – that doesn’t mean the Argentinian maestro is going to be heading Down Under anytime soon.

    As far as whether he should make the switch? I’ll just let McKee do the talking.

    McGee said to Fox that he’d “certainly look at Jarryd’s form if he came back to rugby”.

    “Back to rugby” is a stretch, given Hayne has only ever played sevens at the elite level, but just listen to the rest of what McGee had to say.

    “Realistically it’d be a hard job now with rugby league going through to September; it doesn’t leave much of a window for him.

    “He’s got a lot of good players he’s up against, so if he’s good enough he’ll get in but he’d have to be outplaying some outstanding players.”

    Hardly a glowing endorsement from arguably the man who’ll have the most to say, save for Hayne, in any future code-hop.

    Based on Hayne’s brief rugby sevens career, you can’t blame him for being cool on the idea.

    While he featured in five of Fiji’s six games at the London Sevens in 2016, his total game-time across those matches was only about 15 minutes. He touched the ball on one occasion in a loss to England and, despite only appearing for the final minute, managed to give away a penalty in the game against Australia.

    Coach Ben Ryan said “his fitness [was] way down on our boys” during the tournament, with Hayne himself admitting “physically, [he] definitely wasn’t in sevens shape.”

    Jarryd Hayne training with Fiji sevens side

    (Photo: Martin Seras Lima)

    While Fiji’s sevens team are world-beaters, much unlike the XVs side, the idea that he could stroll into the World Cup squad off the back of that performance and two underwhelming years at the Gold Coast Titans seems farfetched at best.

    Hayne scored just the eight tries in 25 appearances for the Titans and was constantly dogged by rumours his work ethic at training was poor, which subsequently put him at odds with much of the playing list and coaching staff.

    After coach Neil Henry was sacked, rumoured to be at least partly an effort to keep Hayne at the club, the former Eel sensationally quit the club to re-join Parramatta – who he had previously promised he would play for upon his return to the NRL.

    Before that, he played eight games for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, averaging a combined 19 yards across rushes, catches and punt returns and fumbling three times.

    He was cut from the team midway through the year, before being re-signed after the Niners injury toll started to mount.

    There’s no doubt it’s been a tumultuous few years for the former darling of the NRL, with his profile arguably hitting its lowest ebb a few weeks ago after it was reported he finished behind coach Brad Arthur in Parramatta’s time trial.

    But if Hayne is ever going to get back to his best as a sportsman, it won’t happen at the World Cup for Fiji. It’ll happen where he is right now.

    No more distractions, no more feuds with coaches, no more code-hopping.

    Now, back in the environment where he’s enjoyed the greatest successes in his career, it’s time for Jarryd Hayne to just get his head down and put everything into having a good, solid season of football for the Eels.

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    The Crowd Says (29)

    • February 15th 2018 @ 1:25pm
      Steve said | February 15th 2018 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

      This has been in the pipeline for ages

    • February 15th 2018 @ 2:21pm
      Bakkies said | February 15th 2018 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

      Should have signed with a Rugby club to prove himself rather than wasting time in the NRL.

      • February 15th 2018 @ 4:55pm
        peeko said | February 15th 2018 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

        because playing in the NRL is a waste of time?

        • Roar Rookie

          February 15th 2018 @ 5:11pm
          piru said | February 15th 2018 @ 5:11pm | ! Report

          because playing in the NRL is a waste of time?


          • February 15th 2018 @ 5:21pm
            Fionn said | February 15th 2018 @ 5:21pm | ! Report


          • February 15th 2018 @ 11:27pm
            Londoner said | February 15th 2018 @ 11:27pm | ! Report

            No rugby in either code is a waste of time. Best two games in the world.

          • February 16th 2018 @ 8:05am
            peeko said | February 16th 2018 @ 8:05am | ! Report

            An inciteful answer, thank you Piru

        • February 15th 2018 @ 6:03pm
          Bakkies said | February 15th 2018 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

          ‘because playing in the NRL is a waste of time?’

          No he will only a limited amount of time to prove himself if he is able to leave Parramatta.

          If the RWC was truly his goal he shouldn’t have signed with the Titans when he came home. Get a contract in France like Radradra did.

          • February 16th 2018 @ 8:06am
            peeko said | February 16th 2018 @ 8:06am | ! Report

            Agree, this is only a rumour
            Don’t really know why anyone cares

    • February 15th 2018 @ 2:45pm
      Malo said | February 15th 2018 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

      Yesterday’s hero, he looks totally unfit

    • February 15th 2018 @ 3:54pm
      cuw said | February 15th 2018 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

      The coach is being PC . there must be easily 10 -15 guys who can play in the backs for Fiji and mostly in European clubs.

      LaRochelle play Fiji center as their flanker 🙂

      and Fiji’s numbers are easily shown when Nandolo plays in centers so that quicker guys can take the wings.

      Also a few Fijians wish to play for other countries as there is no space for them in national team ( and perhaps money too ).

    • February 15th 2018 @ 4:03pm
      Winston said | February 15th 2018 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

      Can’t he get a contract with a rich french team to get used to the game?

      • February 15th 2018 @ 4:18pm
        cuw said | February 15th 2018 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

        rich French teams dont hand out contracts to unknowns or rookies at 30 years of age.

        they are a business model and expect results – not for players to get ” used to a style ” or get back into rhythm.

        if for any reason they dont get performance then they let them go – like Quade , 1/2penny , Spies……

        • February 15th 2018 @ 6:03pm
          Bakkies said | February 15th 2018 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

          ‘rich French teams dont hand out contracts to unknowns or rookies at 30 years of age.’

          Toulon gave contracts to Willie Mason and Ben Barba.

          • February 15th 2018 @ 7:27pm
            cuw said | February 15th 2018 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

            they learnt a lesson from that one i believe

          • February 15th 2018 @ 11:31pm
            Londoner said | February 15th 2018 @ 11:31pm | ! Report

            They moved both on quickly. As were not suited to it. I agree French clubs can make bad hires frequently. Barba doing well at St Helens now. Learning another code mid career is very tough. Most code hopers who do well probably played at a high schoolboy level in the other code.

            Hayne – yesterday’s man at the truly elite level. Fiji got tons of good backs at union. It’s a fly half or hooker or flanker they need.

            • February 16th 2018 @ 12:29am
              Bakkies said | February 16th 2018 @ 12:29am | ! Report

              They have a flyhalf in Matavesi who the coach won’t select or give much game time to.

    • February 15th 2018 @ 4:14pm
      CJ said | February 15th 2018 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

      Hard to disagree with anything that has been written or posted. That ship has sailed.

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