Jarryd Hayne is one of the most frustrating modern footy players.
We all remember 2009, when he guided Parramatta from eighth to the grand final (albeit losing to Melbourne) and winning the Dally M Medal.
We all cheered his “dream” of playing for the San Francisco 49ers in 2015, playing as a running back/return specialist. While he only lasted eight games, we were proud of him for making it this far.
Then things got a bit silly.
Hayne tried – and failed – to play Rugby Sevens for Fiji in the 2016 Olympics (with Fiji winning the gold medal without him), before an NRL return.
Hayne angered some Parramatta fans by signing with the Gold Coast Titans in 2016. His return was stupidly hyped (Fox Sports’ “Hayne Cam” seemed an unnecessary ratings grab) and he only played 26 games for eight tries and one field goal in two seasons (he did played Origin in 2017, but was blamed for costing the Blues game two – and a series win – attempting to score rather than pass to Brett Morris. Queensland won game two and the series 2-1). He was criticised for a poor attitude and having a hand in coach Neil Henry’s sacking. By now, fans were sick of Hayne’s apparent diva behaviour. The “Hayne’s new dream” memes became a running joke.
After playing for Fiji in their successful 2017 World Cup, Hayne returned “home” to Parramatta in 2018 and an Eels team fresh off a top four finish. Surely Hayne could take the Eels to another grand final – like 2009 all over again?
It didn’t happen – Parramatta finished last and Hayne was the top try-scorer with 10 from 15 games.
Is the public turning on Hayne an example of typical Aussie tall poppy syndrome? Or are fans tired of Hayne not living up to his potential and having a bad attitude?
Now it looks like Hayne will be clubless in 2019.
Where to now for Hayne? Will another NRL club sign him (St. George-Illawarra and Canterbury are favoured) or will he chase the big dollars in European Rugby? Could he even entertain another NFL stint? Even open the batting for Australia?
Jokes aside, Hayne has played over 200 games with the Eels and Titans so – if he brings the right attitude – his experience will be as asset to any NRL team.
Whatever happens to The Hayne Plane, the media will eat up his every move and we’re sure to see more memes.