Hayne Plane drops quitting bombshell

JARRYD Hayne reportedly wants to quit the Gold Coast Titans and explore his options in Sydney in order to be closer to his family.

Currently participating in the Rugby League World Cup with Fiji, Hayne is said to be considering all possibilities, including rugby union.

He wants to be closer to his young daughter, who Channel Nine reporter Danny Weidler says is based on the NSW Central Coast.

First reported in The Daily Telegraph, his departure would be a huge blow to the struggling Titans and their hopes of climbing the standings in 2018 after finishing the 2017 season in second last place.

Channel Seven rugby league reporter Josh Massoud said Hayne's former side Parramatta is the raging favourite to secure his services should he walk out on the Titans.

The Titans say they expect Hayne back for pre-season training in January and Gold Coast CEO Graham Annesley said today's news had blindsided him because he is unaware of any such request from Hayne.

"We haven't spoken to Jarryd, he's been away on duty for Fiji at the World Cup," he said, per the Courier-Mail.

"I don't know what Jarryd is up to, but at this stage no one has come to me or anyone at the club asking for a release.

"As far as I'm concerned, he's a Titans-contracted player.

"If at some stage Jarryd wants out, it's up to him to come and ask us, not for us to ask him.

"No one has asked me for a release, but if he wants out, he needs to come and ask us and he hasn't done that."

Hayne is off contract at the end of next season, and as of Tuesday was able to enter in negotiations with other clubs for the 2019 season. He took up an option in his contract earlier this year to extend his stay until the end of 2018, but only after he reportedly flirted with the idea of moving back to Sydney.

If Hayne was to leave, his departure would be slap in the face to previous Gold Coast coach Neil Henry. Henry was punted after the club effectively chose its star fullback over him following a highly publicised relationship breakdown between the pair this year.

Hayne joined the Titans midway through last season after a failed attempt to make the Fiji rugby sevens Olympic team, which followed his season-long stint in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers.

He started with a bang in his return to league but was underwhelming in 2017 for a man on a $1.2 million-a-season deal.

The revelation Hayne wants to leave the glitter strip comes shortly after incoming Titans coach Garth Brennan spoke about his excitement at having the representative fullback at his disposal.

"Jarryd's a super talent, we all know that, everyone who's seen him over the years and the level that he's played at in Origin, club level as well," Brennan told NRL 360.

"It's exciting. I'm a rugby league fan and when you see Jarryd Hayne in full flight it's exciting."

If Hayne stays, Brennan will need to do what Henry couldn't - keep the Titans' main man happy.

The rift between Hayne and Henry took its toll on the Queensland club, which limped to 15th this year with just seven wins. It was a far cry from a fairytale 2016 in which Gold Coast's unheralded names surprised everyone by scraping into the top eight.

Stories of Hayne's poor attitude at training surfaced earlier in the year and he was fined. Henry was believed to be less than impressed with the 29-year-old's work while rumours of unrest among teammates - upset at being punished for Hayne's individual misdemeanours - also circulated.

Despite Henry's repeated denials of any rift, crisis talks involving the club board saw the veteran coach given his marching orders in August.

Whether Hayne follows Henry out the door remains to be seen.

Sportsbet has opened up a (lighthearted) market on what Hayne is likely to do next. He's paying $1.25 to stay in rugby league, $3.50 to join the 15-a-side code, $11 to try again at rugby sevens and $34 to return to the NFL.

If you're keen on a real roughie, he's paying $1001 to become a swimmer or replace Lisa Wilkinson on Channel Nine's Today.

Topics:  editors picks gold coast titans jarryd hayne nrl

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