Hayne stays with Eels and NRL...for now - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hayne stays with Eels and NRL...for now

By Liam Fitzgibbon 17/12/2009 08:14:20 PM Comments (0)

After finally committing his future to rugby league for the next four years, Parramatta superstar Jarryd Hayne has warned that the NRL has to do more to keep the game's best talent from rival codes.

The 21-year-old Dally M Medal winner on Thursday penned league's most prized signature, securing a new four-season deal with the Eels reportedly worth $500,000 a season plus third party deals.

It comes after months of speculation surrounding his future, with reports he was being offered more than $1 million a season to join the AFL's new western Sydney franchise.

Hayne, who was typically relaxed during a public signing at a shopping centre at Rouse Hill in Sydney's west, said he always wanted to stay with the Eels, believing he still had plenty to achieve in rugby league.

But he bluntly admitted it would be hard to resist the advances from rival codes in four years time, citing the new challenge and financial incentives offered by rugby union and AFL as "very appealing".

And amid speculation Test halfback Johnathan Thurston is also considering a code switch, Hayne passionately believed the NRL should be more flexible with the salary cap to help stem the flow of talent.

"I think I'm too young (to switch codes) now, but I think when it comes up next time it's going to definitely be an option," Hayne said.

"It'd be sad to go but it just seems like the NRL's just letting players go, it'd be good to see them sort of step in.

"There's a lot of big name players going and the way the (NRL) sort of sees it is that one player doesn't make a whole competition.

"But when you're losing such quality players in consecutive years the question's got to be asked, how many more are we going to let go?"

"You want to play against the best, you don't want to see them go to other codes, like Sonny Bill (Williams), Mark Gasnier, Craig Gower, Karmichael Hunt.

"... Everyone loves league but the challenge and the financial side of things to go to other codes is very appealing."

Hayne's current contract had been due to expire at the end of next season but that has been replaced by a much-improved four-year deal negotiated by manager Wayne Beavis.

The NSW and Test star said he was relieved to have secured his future for the coming years and was clear about his ambitions having taken the blue and golds to the NRL grand final this year.

"I think the top two goals is to win a State of Origin series and win the big one (grand final)," he said.

"They're the two massive goals every player in the comp wants to achieve."

Eels chief executive Paul Osborne said he was always hopeful Hayne would remain with the club, calling it a great day for rugby league as a whole.

"It would have been an absolute disaster for us if we had have lost Jarryd given I can't recall any player that dominated a year like he did this year, week after week, after week," Osborne said.

"For us to have lost him to another code would have been diabolical."

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