Jarryd Hayne broke his promise to only play NRL for the Eels - read why.
Hayne's two year deal is reportedly worth $1.2 million per season after third party deals are included. This represents an almighty pay rise had the playmaker gone to Rio with the Fiji Rugby Sevens team - players will earn $816.90 for their entire trip - and improves on his three year, $2.2 million unguaranteed contract with NFL team, San Francisco 49ers. Given Hayne's new home ground is about a 24 minute drive to Dreamworld, rumoured to be his favourite holiday destination, he certainly has plenty of spare cash for a season pass.
In taking his talents to the Glitter Strip, the former NSW and Australian representative cited board instability in that he never received a formal offer from the club. While reports circulated last night that Parramatta had finally approved a multi-million dollar contract, it appears the former Eels captain simply got tired of waiting. When you take into account the Eels are dealing with the fallout from their salary cap saga, have had several off-field incidents and are still on the hunt for a new club CEO, head of football and commercial manager, Hayne does have a point.
However, considering his promise to Parramatta fans in 2014 that he had a 'lifetime agreement' with the Eels if he ever returned to the NRL, the Gold Coast's new marquee signing has lost all his credibility. The Hayne Plane has clearly snubbed his loyal fanbase and moving up to the Sunshine State is a massive backflip. There's a saying you can put as much lipstick on a pig as you want but it's still a pig and Hayne will struggle to dress this up as anything other than a betrayal.
With the 28-year-old expected to make his first appearance this weekend when Titans face the Warriors on Sunday at Cbus Super Stadium, TAB odds of Gold Coast winning the premiership this year have been slashed from $67 to $17. Since his announcement, Titans have also been crunched to $1.40 to finish in the top eight and it is easy to see why. The two-time Dally M Medal winner will have lost none of his athleticism since his stint overseas and adds an extra dimension to his new team's play.
In joining former Eels hooker, Nathan Peats, in a different blue and gold jersey this season, Hayne has every right to look out for his financial security. However, by making promises he can't keep, he comes across as extremely short-sighted and tarnishes the global brand he has been trying to build. It will be interesting to see whether Titan's fans embrace him, like the Eels faithful once did, come Sunday afternoon.