Jarryd Hayne: I’d rather be on the Gold Coast
ALMOST 12 months ago Jarryd Hayne dropped a bombshell which eventually forced the Gold Coast Titans to sack coach Neil Henry with the Titans management backing their marquee man.
Hayne publicly said Henry refused to talk to him in the lead-up to their round 23 clash to the Dragons which prompted a fallout which led to Henry's sacking.
Hayne subsequently quit the Titans after a 23-game stint which failed to live up to the expectations he set prior to joining the NFL and rejoined Parramatta.
Hayne said there was no ill-will from his end as he prepared to play the Titans for the first time since leaving the club on Saturday night having backed the support staff in Craig Catterick and Hayden Knowles who were brought in by new Titans coach Garth Brennan in some part to try and get the best out of Hayne.
"I enjoyed it," Hayne said of his 18-month stint at the club. "There are great people up there. It's always warm. I loved the warm weather. It would've been great to stay up there but it wasn't to be.
"They have great staff. Obviously with Hayden and Cat (Catterick) and the head coach they are great people.
"They understood my decision to come home. They are great people who understood that. It would've been great to be there with them. There is no other place I would rather be than up there with those guys.
"I know what they are like. I know what they bring. Just speaking to the boys who have been there for a while, they love them up there.
"They are slowly building into a good force.
"I'm looking forward to playing some old teammates, Koni (Konrad Hurrell) the most. It will be good if we come near each other."
Hayne's homecoming has been less than desirable. Injuries have restricted him to just 10 games this year while the Eels are now locked in a wooden spoon battle.
"It's been a devastating year," Hayne said. "We are in the spoon race. We don't want it. We are a game behind. We have to fight and crawl our way through."
Hayne has returned to his best in recent weeks as he tries to lift the Eels off the bottom of the premiership ladder. He said shrugging off some private health issues had helped him re-gain form.
"Health-wise, I feel like I'm on top of things now," Hayne said. "I've had a couple of internal issues the last 18 months. I feel like I've finally fixed it. I feel great."
Despite being named on the wing, Hayne has been given a roving role by Parramatta coach Brad Arthur. He spent time interchanging with fullback Clint Gutherson.
"Roaming and chiming in there and swapping with Gutho at times," Hayne said of his role. "I'm looking to create opportunities and try-scoring plays. Gutho has been playing there a bit longer. It's why we are mixing it up in attack especially from set starts."
Off-contract at season's end Hayne said he still has the hunger to continue to play on.
"You have to have the (drive) to be a professional athlete," Hayne said.