Jarryd Hayne won’t simply waltz back into the NSW side for State of Origin next season, former Blues skipper Paul Gallen believes.
Hayne will return to the NRL this weekend for Gold Coast after almost two seasons away.
The superstar fullback’s return to rugby league has been welcomed by long suffering Blues fans. But Gallen, who retired from the Origin arena after this year’s series said Hayne will have to work hard for his spot.
“It will be a boost for NSW, for the fact that it raises competition amongst spots,” Gallen said on Thursday.
“He can play fullback, he can play centre, he can play at five-eighth if he needed to, which means everyone currently in those positions will need to step their game up.
“It is only going to be a positive. But I don’t think he is going to walk back into the side. He is going to have to earn it.
Speaking at the launch of the Sydney Darts Masters at Star City, Gallen said Hayne’s return hasn’t made him change his mind on his Origin retirement.
“I love the bloke. He is a terrific player. But my time there is done,” Gallen said.
Gallen said he had no doubt Hayne would be a great buy for the Titans, but with just five rounds to go before the finals he questioned how long it would take before the former Parramatta skipper would hit his straps.
“He is not going to be an instant success,” Gallen said.
“Jarryd is a big personality and to step into that side I think it will take a few weeks. He will be able to come back and play good football but he will have to fit into the side.
“Jarryd is a team player. He is not all about himself. It won’t take him long to fit in.
“It might be a bit of a tough ask this weekend with only a couple of training sessions but he will get there.”