Code hopper Jarryd Hayne is set to announce he’s signed an NRL deal to join Gold Coast.
The Titans have scheduled a major announcement – appropriately of Gold Coast airport – and are expected to reveal they have landed the “Hayne Plane” on a rich two-year deal.
The former NRL superstar could possibly play as soon as Sunday’s match against the Warriors, given he has not been registered with another club this season.
Hayne has not played in the NRL since he left Parramatta to try his hand at the NFL in the US at the end of 2014 before a failed crack at making the Rio Olympic with Fiji’s world champions sevens rugby team.
“It’s confirmed, Jarryd Hayne will be running out in a Titans jersey next year,” Titans ambassador Gorden Tallis told Triple M.
Hayne had previously maintained he would return to the Eels if he ever came back to the NRL.
“I’m leaving knowing that I have signed a lifetime agreement with the Eels, so if I return to the NRL, it will be to Parramatta,” he wrote in a letter to Parramatta fans on his departure in 2014.
He then reiterated his stance in February, attacking Parramatta fans who had questioned whether he would follow through on his promise when he was being linked to the Sydney Roosters.
“It’s funny when you see media outlets say I’m doing this and I’m doing that,” he told Triple M at the time.
“It’s even funnier when you see Parra fans go online and have a go at me. If you believe that you’re a clown.”
The Eels were reportedly set to offer Hayne an $800,000-per-season offer this week to return to the club, although that now appears to have been trumped by one worth $1.2 million per season by the Titans.
And Tallis claims it’s the region’s biggest signing since Wally Lewis joined the doomed Seagulls franchise in 1991.
“Jarryd Hayne’s that x-factor that gets the job done for you,” he said.
The signing would be a major coup for the Gold Coast, who still have significant salary cap space left after missing out last year on luring halfback Cherry-Evans when he walked out on a lucrative deal.
Cherry-Evans’ deal was believed to be worth around $4million over four years, however his backflip paved the way for the likes of Ash Taylor, Nathan Peats and Konrad Hurrell to join the club this year.
Off the back of the young stars the Titans now sit seventh on the table, despite coming into the season as one of the wooden spoon favourites.
Any plans for Hayne to play this season may require the clearance of the NRL, following his time at Parramatta during the club’s salary cap scandal.
JARRYD HAYNE’S NRL LIFE:
Born: February 15, 1988 (age 28)
Debut: May 19 2006, v Penrith Panthers
Honours: 2 Dally M Medals (2009, 2014), 3 Brad Fittler Medals (2007, 2008, 2014), RLIF player of the year award (2009).
State of Origin: 20 matches for NSW, nine tries
Australia: 12 matches, 11 tries
Fiji: 4 matches, 3 tries.