Jarryd Hayne recently popped onto our radar as he prepares to get ready for the 2018 Telstra NRL Rugby Premiership competition and the March launch of the new season.
He got an early holiday gift, he did, escaping the Gold Coast Titans to rejoin his old club, the Parramatta Eels.
Hayne had to take a huge reduction in pay grade to get back to the Sydney environs. He left Gold Coast with the Titans owing him over $1 million and signed with Parramatta for $500,000, in order to allow the Eels some space to add to their roster ahead of next season.
Some backliner of the Eels will be looking for a new means of support, but that is the sports business, is it not?
Hayne must feel grateful that the Eels would have him back after he famously abandoned them after the 2014 NRL season to try to make it as a gridiron warrior in the NFL. That experiment did not work out to well, as Hayne was something of a distraction for the San Francisco 49ers, who have more than enough with which to deal without teaching a rugby player how to play gridiron.
He attracted our notice when he took a journey to Jerusalem to strengthen his faith. He did not go there with an eye to becoming the Pope. That would require a trip to Rome.
Speaking of his spiritual journey, Hayne told TVNZ, “I guess I always wanted to go to Jerusalem, it’s something that I guess reading the Bible and all the Bible characters, the stories – it was something that was inevitable really. It kind of surprised me that not many people had gone from Australia and when I very first started going to church I was kind of curious as to why not? If that is what we believe in and where it started.”
Eels supporters can begin prayers of their own, in the hopes that Hayne does not have another epiphany before he can help the Eels dethrone the Melbourne Storm.