This morning Dean Ritchie reported in News Limited that the Sydney Roosters, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Newcastle Knights are out of the race for Jarryd Hayne’s signature.
He goes on to say the Gold Coast Titans, St George-Illawarra and former club Parramatta Eels look likely to enter negotiations for the code-hopping Hayne.
Whatever the outcome the successful bid for his signature will leave a huge strain on the salary cap.
And there’s one club who knows too well what impact it’s had on their club. South Sydney.
In November last year they lured Sam Burgess back to the club after a somewhat dismal attempt at rugby. They opened up the checkbook but in the meantime lost Dylan Walker and Chris McQueen to make sure they stayed under the salary cap.
While you could attribute South Sydney’s season woes to off-field speculation about the future of coach Michael Maguire and key injuries to John Sutton and Adam Reynolds at different parts of the year, one has to wonder if the loss of two quality players was worth it?
With six straight losses and out of finals contention in thirteenth spot the simple answer is no.
Which club is most likely to take a hit with Hayne’s value?
Gold Coast Titans
From a promotional perspective great for the game on the Gold Coast. Would lure sponsorship into the area and take a hit in winning the battle of NRL vs AFL in the region.
What would this mean for the likes of Cameron Cullen, a Burleigh Bears star who filled in earlier this year? He could feel the squeeze of any salary cap squeeze. Hayne wanting to stay in Sydney probably knocks them out of contention.
St George-Illawarra Dragons
Certainly they need some strike power being only second to Newcastle on least points scored this year. Benji Marshall’s future at the Dragons is up in the air and the likes of Ben Creagh, Dylan Farrell, Mitch Rein and Joel Thompson are also off contract. Speculation again surfacing Robbie Farah could join the club.
Coming back home would be a huge boost for a club that’s been through turmoil. With the temporary administrators in place, they will need to tread delicately to make sure they can afford Hayne.
It may mean ‘cutting to the bone’ further with Michael Gordon, Ryan Morgan, Junior Paulo, Nathan Peats and Anthony Watmough already gone. What future is there for the talented Mitch Cornish, experienced Isaac De Gois, troubled play maker Corey Norman and former bad boy Danny Wicks?
A club so defiant against adversity this year, it would make you wonder if that same resolve under Brad Arthur could happen with a further depleted 2017 roster to fit Hayne in?
POLL: Where is Jarryd Hayne likely to end up in 2017? #NRL
— NothingButLeague (@NothingButRL) July 21, 2016