We have had our share of fun at the expense of Jarryd Hayne on more than one occasion, but he is the sort of figure who transcends sports and inhabits the public realm, so our occasional sledges are simply accouterments to the territory of the rich and famous.
Nonetheless, we are glad to see that Hayne seems to be rejuvenated after his time away from the NRL, spent chasing a job in the U.S. gridiron big league, making a hop to sevens in hopes of getting on the ground with Fiji in the 2016 Rio Olympics and the less-than-hoped-for outcome of a stint with the Gold Coast Titans.
We watched with interest as Hayne did everything in his power to escape Gold Coast and return to his beloved Parramatta Eels.
Although the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition might not be one the Eels choose to grace the cover of future media guides, Hayne seems to be showing signs of once again being the player that won the Dally M.
There were some who thought Hayne was washed up and waiting to be hung on the line to dry. At 30 years of age, many rugby players are contemplating a life of sore knees and other maladies, but Hayne may have actually benefitted from some time away from rugby’s knocks.
Teammate Mitchell Moses called it thusly; “It looked like the old Jarryd was back. The way he was skipping and beating players, it was with ease, like he used to. It was really good to just to sit back and watch him do that. So no, I definitely don’t think he’s done at all. Jarryd’s the furthest thing from done and I hope he stays next year.”
To his eternal credit, Hayne, who is off contract at the end of the season, has scrupulously refused to talk about his playing future.
Wish it were so for others, but until the NRL actually moves the off-season chatter into the off-season proper, it is nice of Hayne to stay mum.