Jarryd Hayne: which dream is next?

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Jarryd Hayne has confirmed this morning that he won’t be playing for  Fiji at the Olympics, but where will he go next?

1. Waratahs

There’s been much speculation around that Jarryd Hayne could be willing to compromise a lower salary with a stint in Super Rugby. And if he did decide to head that way, the Waratahs would welcome him with open arms. Both coach Daryl Gibson and star back Israel Folau said last week that if Hayne came a knocking, the door would be wide open.

“I think he's naturally talented to want to pick up the game and play it and besides that he'd be great...I think it'd be a great boost for the team there's no doubt." - Israel Folau on Hayne

2. French rugby

Nemani Nadolo will miss the next four matches after being suspended for a dangerous tackle. Photo: Getty ImagesIf he stays in rugby, his most-mooted destination would be somewhere in Europe - a mix of big bucks and the lure of playing in some of the most picturesque locations in the world. While his stint in Fiji’s Sevens team makes him ineligible for the Wallabies, it does have one major advantage. French Top 14 teams have a longstanding agreement with Pacific Island nations in which those players are considered local players, making it easier for them to play in France. The cynic in some might see this as more than just a silver lining for Hayne as he contemplates his next move.

3. Japanese Rugby

Japan is another potential rugby destination for Hayne, with a similar financial lure to France. There is a real chance that the ex-NRL superstar would be thinking about continuing his rugby stint, with foreign competitions able to offer far more lucrative deals than NRL or Super Rugby could. The major detraction from the Japanese Top League is its strict regulations around foreign players, that would definitely limit his game time.

4. NRL 

Jarryd Hayne could be heading back to the NRL. Photo: Getty ImagesThis seems his most likely move. Hayne will head back to Sydney mid-week and  “will determine my next steps from there.” There have been reports effectively since Hayne’s first day on his NFL journey, almost two years ago, that he was being sounded out for a local return. The recent shock departure of Keiran Foran from the Eels setup, along with his $5 million contract, has freed up some cap space that could pay for Hayne's return.

Upon news of Foran’s exit, Eels coach Brad Arthur reiterated his views that the club would welcome Hayne back. “We’ve said all along if Jarryd wanted to come back to our club we’d only be too happy to take him,” he said to reporters last week.

“I don't know what Jarryd’s plans are with where he wants to take the rest of his career, but I’m sure that if he wants to play rugby league he’ll give us an opportunity.

“We’d love to have him at our club, but for the moment I’m really happy with the core group of players that we’ve got. “They are doing a great job for us and we are happy to keep fighting with what we’ve got.”