Rugby League


Jarryd Hayne on another plane, says rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns

Jarryd Hayne is on his way back to the US with a dream still pounding in his heart and ambition in his eyes – and a new plan to keep expanding Hayne Inc.

And he'll take with him the memory of a training session with Andrew Johns that will remind him there is a very real and enjoyable option if things go south.

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Under the guidance of crafty agent Wayne Beavis, a man who has shaped his career since his mid-teens, Hayne has become an entity. His sponsors include Telstra, Rebel, Under Armour, Norton, EHP Labs and he has his own brand, Jarryd Hayne Apparel.

To capitalise on his growing name and brand here and in the US, Beavis and Hayne have secured an American marketing agent, in addition to his NFL agent Jack Bechta.

Beavis was reluctant to discuss anything relating to Hayne's off-field growth on the business front.

Part of Hayne's training has included a session that will no doubt be referred to IF he makes a return to the NRL.


Hayne was involved in a session with Roosters conditioner Hayden Knowles when he saw Mitchell Pearce and Andrew Johns working on skills. So he joined in. And dominated.

"Has he still got it? Oh yeah, he has," Johns said. "He does what he does and makes anyone else envious of his skills. He made us look bad. I just couldn't get over the size of him and his power. He is a special athlete. Of course, he could walk straight back into our game and do what he was doing, maybe even better."

And Hayne has been overwhelmed by the level of support he has been receiving. "I'm still getting used to the fact that people want to listen to me," he said. "That they want to hear my view and opinion."


Ben Barba's name was in the news last week when Todd Greenberg was appointed as the NRL boss, because Greenberg had to fend off suggestions that he was involved in a cover-up of drama involving Barba.

Greenberg was investigated and cleared and gave a very personal response that he has "too much respect for the people involved" to take part in a cover-up of allegations of domestic violence.

Barba was a closed book in those days. Today he is open and doesn't shy away from that time in his life. I did an interview with him where he opened up and thanked his partner Ainslee.

First-hand experience: Ben Barba believes Todd Greenberg is the right man to lead the NRL.

First-hand experience: Ben Barba believes Todd Greenberg is the right man to lead the NRL. Photo: Mark Kolbe

"For her to say that she's past it and moved on ... it's pretty reassuring if she can do that, then I'm sure I can," he said.

And so it was not surprising when he went out of his way to praise the appointment of Greenberg. "He's the right man for the job," Barba said.

"When I was there at the Bulldogs he did a great job. He's got a good head on his shoulders and he will do a great job. I think he really cares and it's not just about the business. He really gets associated with the boys at the club."


Stephen Dank says he is appealing the slam dunk in court where he lost his most contentious defamation case surrounding the death of Jon Mannah and whether peptides accelerated the growth of cancerous cells.

On the back of that finding and the $2 million in legal costs he's been hit with, Dank's assistant Darren "The Gazelle" Hibbert has come out of the shadows to contact me to say he has been misrepresented in media reports.

"Whoever said I was wearing blue overalls while injecting Cronulla players must be on drugs and I don't mean the performance-enhancing kind," he wrote.

"I have never owned a pair of blue overalls ... Electronic engineers, personal trainers and contracted sales people don't wear them. How can they be taken seriously as a credible witness. Also, back in 2011, I had short blond hair, not the same wild blond hairstyle I had in 2013-14 ... and the court and jury take this as truth?

"I can honestly say that I did not inject the late Jon Mannah with any peptide or other supplement."

Hibbert did not give evidence at the defamation trial.

Regardless of who did what, this column's thoughts are with Tim Mannah and his family.


This column first questioned the track record of Scott Seward when he left the Bulldogs and joined Parramatta.

We told you how when he was merchandising manager at the Bulldogs there had been $90,000 worth of Bulldogs merchandise that was not properly accounted for. The Nike gear was not in stock and it was not in sales. There was never a question of any criminal activity on his behalf, it was just stock that disappeared under his watch. It turns out a very high-ranking official at the club had questions to answer on that matter.

Then there was Seward's decision to employ his mother, Robin. And his sister Kelly. And his two cousins. And even more bizarre was the way his colleagues said he would deal with the takings from game-day merchandise sales. If there was a crowd of 40,000, the cash sales could be as high as $40,000. The conventional manner of handling that would be to take the cash and place it in the safe at Canterbury Leagues Club and count it on the first weekday after the game. But he apparently had the habit of taking it home and putting it under his bed for safe keeping.

Club angst: Former Eels chief executive Scott Seward.

Club angst: Former Eels chief executive Scott Seward. Photo: Getty Images

Now his role in the Eel's current cap and third-party sponsor woes will be put under the microscope. The news that the investigation into Parramatta officials would include a forensic examination of computers was supposed to send shivers down the spine of the Parramatta directors. Instead they are overjoyed, because it will include an investigation of former employees, including Seward.

You'll remember that Seward was the chief executive who did a great job in signing Kieran Foran – but he included a clause that allowed him to leave the club and be paid close to a million dollars if there was any "drama" at the club. To say that there is angst surrounding Seward is an understatement.

The feeling is the opposite when it comes to Steve Sharp. The respect and regard that the board hold him in has shocked me. From a distance he comes across as bumbling, and he appeared to me to be the wrong man for the job.

The board can't speak highly enough of Sharp. Calls for his head have infuriated the board. One board member said: "The new board and CEO have been unfairly treated in the media. We are furious at what appears to be a public hanging of the wrong people. We are fixing up the mess of the old cronies. The investigation will show this."


The truth behind Semi Radradra and a suggested threat to walk out is pretty simple: he is on $400,000 and is worth about $600,000.

And, to be frank, if he can keep up his vein of form, he is worth the latter amount. He brings people to the game and viewers to the TV. There will be an approach for a pay rise and a possible contract extension, once the Eels sort through the mess they are in.

Happy at the Eels: Semi Radradra (right) was upset when it was suggested he wanted to leave Parramatta.

Happy at the Eels: Semi Radradra (right) was upset when it was suggested he wanted to leave Parramatta. Photo: Getty Images

 Radradra's agent George Christodoulou knows it will be silly to have those discussions now.

"He is not looking to get out," Christodoulou said. "In an ideal world he will be an Eel for life. But we need to have those discussions."

There have been rumblings since last year that he was edgy. The truth is he has been through a relationship breakdown that has not been simple. He has been supported by the club and the club has also supported his his ex-partner.

Radradra was upset when it was suggested he wanted to leave Parramatta. He has a deal that has two years to run.


Dual international Lote Tuqiri has always been street smart, but maybe we didn't realise just how intelligent he is. Tuqiri has just started up a new business selling advertising and using influencers in the social space called HooZu.