ARU CEO Bill Pulver has confirmed Jarryd Hayne won’t be in Super Rugby next year, but believes the game wasn’t being used as a pawn by the cross-code star.
“We wouldn’t stump up any money – he can’t play for the Wallabies, sadly. Four minutes for Fiji in a London event pretty well ruled that out,” he told FOX SPORTS News.
Despite the chances of him playing super Rugby being ruled out Pulver said he believed there was legitimate interest from Hayne during discussions.
“You’re a little concerned when there are media waiting outside a meeting that has been organised by them,” he said.
“I guess that was a little bit of an issue. But at the end of the day, there’s a chance he is signing up to play rugby in France. Certainly, the conversation I had was there was genuine interest in our game.”
The Waratahs ruled out offering Hayne a contract earlier this week, snuffing out his Super Rugby chances, with the former Eel believed to be keen to stay in Sydney.
“He made it clear up front his preference was to live in New South Wales and we were responding to feedback he gave us,” Pulver said.
NSW’s reason for refusing Hayne was a desire to focus on the local talent pathway, something that has come into focus in both coaching and playing in recent weeks.
Pulver said the governing body was also needing to develop that pathway, after a disappointing season of Super Rugby for Australian teams.
The ARU boss said the recent appointment of Nick Stiles to the Queensland Reds head coaching role, rather than some of the mooted international talents, was a big boon for home grown mentors.
“I think I was on record back in the days when we turned Robbie Deans over that we ultimately have respect for any organisations to choose the very best coach we can find,” he said.
“There’s obviously a preference for developing Australian talent and grow a coach pathway to create a sustainable outcome for the game.”
Pulver said their priority was building strong talent routes for players and coaches.
“We would like to develop our own talent,” he said.
“This year was a bit of an aberration.
“I acknowledge we’ve got work to do on the development pathway, in both coaching and player high performance procedures and processes to deliver high results.
Pulver pointed to the recent acquisition of Mick Byrne as national skills coach, with teams from grassroots to the Wallabies part of his portfolio, as an example of the pathway focus.
“They’re the key positions we want to see impacting the national teams and state teams and right through the development pathways.”