Jarryd Hayne’s next choice of sporting employer will be a “business decision”, according to friend and former teammate Tim Mannah.
Parramatta club captain Mannah said on Tuesday he had been in touch with the code-hopping star but conceded their friendship would have no bearing on where Hayne ends up.
“There wouldn’t be a sporting team in the country that wouldn’t want him. Obviously everyone would want him back (at Parramatta), but whether or not he comes is a decision he has to make,” Mannah said.
“We speak all the time but when it comes to that, it’s a business decision and it’s a decision that has got nothing to do with me.”
Any possible NRL comeback for Hayne – even as early as this year – would be reliant on Parramatta’s five de-registered officials accepting their fate and moving on from the club.
Just days after the NRL officially docked the Eels 12 competition points and fined the club $1 million for salary cap breaches, the so-called Gang of Five are believed to be considering appealing their ban.
However, Hayne’s sudden availability could now force their hand with the governing body attempting to use the former NSW and Kangaroo star as leverage to implement significant change in the Eels’ administration.
“He should go to a club that’s well-managed and well-governed, and that’ll certainly form part of his decision-making,” NRL boss Todd Greenberg told Channel Nine.
Hayne, 28, is a free agent again after a Monday announcement on social media that he had been overlooked for Fiji’s Olympic rugby sevens team by coach Ben Ryan.
The former NFL player said he would return to Sydney, where a loophole in the June 30 deadline rules could allow him to immediately return in the blue and gold.
The Eels are believed to be close to settling on a release for troubled star Kieran Foran, freeing the funds necessary to bring Hayne back into the fold, almost 20 months after he left to pursue an NFL career.
“He can … and he’s not moving from club to club, which is the June 30 deadline. So the short answer is yes and we’d welcome him back with open arms,” Greenberg said.