Wallabies coach Michael Cheika won’t be chasing Jarryd Hayne, but says he’ll happily talk if the code hopper comes a knocking.
Hayne is the hottest player on the open market after quitting the NFL to pursue an Olympic dream with the Fiji sevens team.
But the former rugby league Test star remains eligible to represent Australia as well as Fiji, where he qualifies through his father, former South Sydney and Manly ARL player Manoa Thompson.
Cheika isn’t convinced Hayne necessarily wants to make a fulltime switch to rugby.
“He connected with the sevens team perhaps in Sydney, I think, (during a World Series round in February) and he’s got that heritage,” Cheika said on Fox Sports’ Rugby 360 program.
“I knew his dad and he obviously identified with something in their spirit and in their culture and I see him singing with the boys and (enjoying) that spirituality.
“I saw Kane Evans in the rugby league did the same thing, made himself available for the sevens because he identified with that culture and it was good for him as a person.
“I think that’s probably something he (Hayne) is feeling as well that no one’s taken into account.
“Maybe that’s what he wants to do, grow himself as a person, and take that option.”
Even if Hayne is serious about a permanent move to the 15-a-side code, Cheika said the former Dally M Medallist would have to make the first move if he wanted to play in Australia.
“It will be a choice for him as to whether he goes to play rugby league or whether he wants to play rugby union,” Cheika said.
“If he made the choice that he wanted to play rugby union, then of course we’d be looking to talk to him.
“But, at the end of the day, these are the decisions that individuals make. I think the days of going out chasing are over because it’s too hard to do.”