The Gold Coast Titans are set to announce Jarryd Hayne has agreed to sign a multi-year deal at Gold Coast Airport at 10:30am on Wednesday.
The Titans made Hayne an even bigger offer than the one that was originally accepted, and then rejected, by Daly Cherry-Evans. It’s understood the deal could average out at at least $1.2 million per season when third-party arrangements are factored in, which would make Hayne one of the highest-paid players in NRL history
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Hayne signs with Titans
Jarryd Hayne returns to the NRL, signing a multi million dollar deal with the Gold Coast Titans. Vision: Today Show, Channel Nine
The audacious move means the resurgent Titans will immediately become a legitimate premiership contender for next season and beyond.
As it stands, the Gold Coast are already one of the surprise packets of the competition, defying most pundits’ wooden spoon predictions by climbing into seventh spot courtesy of a thrilling draw with Cronulla on Monday night.
The Eels had long been considered Hayne’s most likely destination , but given the blue and golds spent a considerable amount of their available funds retaining playmaker Corey Norman, their offer could not compare with what is available on the holiday strip.
The Titans felt they were just one marquee recruit away from being a genuine force. The man they initially earmarked was Cherry-Evans, although he backflipped on his deal to instead take up a “lifetime” one with Manly. The Queensland club has chosen not to spend the majority of the salary cap money allocated for “DCE”, leaving the funds free for Hayne – an even bigger star to build their roster around and provide a drawcard for Titans fans.
Hayne could have potentially earnt more money playing rugby union in France or Japan, but the Titans provided him with a viable alternative to remain in Australia.
The club has done a remarkable job to remain in finals contention given multiple dramas on and off the field. The club has had to bounce back from the Cherry-Evans drama, the financial difficulties that prompted the NRL to take over the license and the James Roberts contract forgery scandal. Such has been the bounce back that, if they are to make the finals, coach Neil Henry will be a top contender for coach of the year honours.
Their underdog story has won them the support of fans on the Gold Coast and in rugby league generally, with their draw with Cronulla now officially recognised as the highest-rating Fox Sports game in Titans history. An average 346,000 viewers watched the extra-time thriller, with viewership peaking just below the half-million mark. It was the second-highest rating Fox game of the year.
“It’s an indication of the type of football they’re playing, people like watching it,” Annesley said.
“They never give up, they’re never dead. We’ve been in every game we’ve played this year bar the one we got blown away by Melbourne, but the Storm can do that to anybody.
“We’ve gone down to the wire in a few we could have won and could have been higher on the ladder, but I suppose every club could say that.
“We’ve had to completely rebuild the club on and off the field, so to see the results we’re now getting is quite satisfying. There’s still a fair bit of water to go under the bridge yet [before the finals], we’ll need to win three games to be sure.
“We’ve got a tough run home, so no one is getting carried away at the moment.”