Bulldogs Skipper James Graham has welcomed the return of Jarryd Hayne, saying the former San Francisco 49er's decision to sign with the Gold Coast Titans is good for the game of rugby league.
Hayne signed a two-year deal with the Titans on Wednesday morning and after leaving the game at the end of the 2014 season as the joint Dally M player of the year, Graham speaking with Sterlo on the Couch, said it’s great to have him back in the game.
“Going back 20 months, he was the best player in the competition and it’s great to have him back,” Graham said.
“I think for a fans point of view, he puts bums on seats. He’s great to watch.
“His decision was greeted with a lot of shock with where he was going, but it will certainly be an interesting one with his addition to the Gold Coast team should they make the finals.”
The signing of Hayne on the Gold Coast was a surprise to many and after making himself available for selection on Sunday for the Titans match against the New Zealand Warriors, the opinions will be divided about whether it’s the right thing to do, but for Graham, he believes the injection of Hayne will be great for the people of South East Queensland.
“I can only assume their attendances are going to go up.
“I think it’s going to be a great thing for the Gold Coast this year.
“His performances on the field might take a few weeks to get to where he was, but the buzz he is going to generate and the confidence he is going to install in his teammates will be worth it.”
The Titans sit in seventh position on the ladder, one point ahead of the eighth placed Warriors who they host on Sunday afternoon.
This week’s game will be a blockbuster and an important one for both sides as they set their sights on playing finals footy and the question on everyone’s mind will be, if Hayne does get through the week of training with his new club, who is the player to miss out? But according to Bulldogs Skipper James Graham, it’s the nature of the sport that someone has to make way when a star player like Hayne lands on your roster.
“It was already going to be huge game with both teams battling to get in the eight and you have this extra addition with Jarryd coming in.
“It will be as tough ask for him, but I think that’s part of professional sport sometimes, when a star player comes in, unfortunately someone has to make way.
“We’ve all been in different situations before where clubs have signed different players and players have had to leave to accommodate them.
“It’s just part and parcel of playing at the top level.”