Hayne well suited to marquee role, says Cheika

Super Rugby
Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says Jarryd Hayne would be a great addition to a Super Rugby club as a marquee player.

Hayne reportedly met with ARU CEO Bill Pulver on Wednesday about potentially joining the Waratahs for the 2017 season alongside fellow league convert and childhood friend Israel Folau.

Speaking on FOX SPORTS’ Rugby 360, Cheika said he knew nothing about the meeting, with Hayne ineligible for Wallabies duties after a short stint with the Fiji Sevens team, though said he would be an asset to any Super Rugby team.

Jarryd Hayne represented Fiji at the London Sevens. Photo: Getty Images“I don’t know anything about it, because like you said, he’s not eligible to play for the Australia,” he said.

“Quality marquees like a guy like Hayne makes his team more competitive. And when his team’s more competitive they’re playing in the finals, they’re playing at the front end.

“I’ve lived that experience in Ireland where we had foreign marquee players, and they helped us become more and more competitive.”

Former All Blacks skills coach Mick Byrne said the most important part of any Hayne switch would be figuring out where he would line up.

“The key is going to be the role he has,” Byrne said.

“If he’s going to have any influence he’s going to have to insert himself into the backline and be that player that we saw he can be.”

“One of the key things the leaguies always talk about is not being in enough play, they get stuck out wide, can’t get their hand on the ball enough,” he said.

Byrne believes Hayne, mainly a fullback in rugby league, would be well suited at outside centre, a position Folau has transitioned into this season.

“I think 13 is a good little spot for him to come in. It’s wide enough for him to come in and close enough for him to get his hands on the ball and use his footwork which he’s got outstanding feet.”

Rugby 360 airs weekly on Wednesday nights at 8pm AEST LIVE on FOXSPORTS 2 502.