As the 2020 NRL season draws closer, the inevitable predictions about who will make the top eight begin doing the rounds.
Jarryd Hayne admits he doesn’t believe he will be able to play for Parramatta in 2019 with fears the club can’t fit him in their NRL salary cap.
An understanding Jarryd Hayne says he’s resigned to the belief he probably won’t play for Parramatta in 2019 and will need to look elsewhere.
Parramatta’s NRL squad return to training on Thursday but at this stage Hayne won’t be there, with the two-time Dally M Medallist still without a contract for next season.
The Eels insisted on Sunday they still hoped to retain Hayne, but he believed it was unlikely they could fit him in under their salary cap.
“I’ve obviously waited a while to get something on paper but I think the long story short is Parra just can’t,” Hayne told AAP.
“They’ve already done their roster. It was done before I actually got there (from the Gold Coast at the start of 2018).
“You hear speculation that some of those players might be leaving and what not. I think that’s what they’re waiting for.
“But no one has left yet and pre-season starts in a couple of days so it’s not looking good.”
Hayne spent Sunday playing in a charity Twenty20 Battle of the Smashers to raise money for the Veterans Benevolent Fund, but he didn’t know what his professional sporting future held.
“I’m going to have to (look around) because I don’t have a job. In four days my contract is over,” he said.
“It’s a bit of a lottery (where I will be in 2019).
“I’m on the market looking for a job. I’ve got to pay the bills.
“It’s just one of them things. They thought someone might have left by now and no one has. It’s no hard feelings, I love all the boys at Parra. I understand where the club is coming from too.
“They want to keep me and have obviously been adamant about that but the reality is they can’t. There’s just no room. As sad as it is it’s just reality.
“I was lucky enough to get there last year and have a year there.”
Asked if he would consider testing himself in a different sport as he has previously with NFL and rugby sevens, Hayne said: “I think I’m open to anything so I’ll just have to wait and see.”
It’s understood the Eels are still attempting to manage their cap for next season, but chief executive Bernie Gurr insisted to AAP they hadn’t given up hope on Hayne running out in the blue and gold.
“We’re working on it. We’re hoping that we can get something done in the next couple of weeks,” Gurr said.
“We still want him here.”
After a slow start to the year, 30-year-old Hayne was one of the Eels’ best in the back half of 2018, busting 32 tackles and scoring six tries in the last six games of the season.