Rugby League

Jarryd Hayne says he wants to return to Parramatta Eels if he quits the NFL

Jarryd Hayne has quashed rumours linking him to the Sydney Roosters, adamant he wants to return to the Parramatta Eels if he was to quit the NFL.

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While there's no doubt the Roosters are interested in luring Hayne to the eastern suburbs if he returned to the NRL, Hayne insists his former club will be his first choice if he pulled the pin on his American dream.

The rumour mill went into overdrive last month when Hayne was photographed with Roosters coach Trent Robinson, but the 27-year-old said he would stay true to his word and give Parramatta first crack at re-signing him.

Rugby league comeback?: Jarryd Hayne during his Eels days.
Rugby league comeback?: Jarryd Hayne during his Eels days.  Photo: Getty Images

"Like I always said, if I ever came back I'd go to Parra if they wanted me," Hayne told Triple M's The Grill Team on Monday.

"That was always something I said from the start. It's funny when you see media outlets say I'm doing this and I'm doing that. It's even funnier when you see Parra fans go online and have a go at me. If you believe that you're a clown."

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Hayne's former club added some rare silverware to the trophy cabinet over the weekend after upsetting the Warriors to win the NRL Auckland Nines at Eden Park.

While the Eels have struggled in recent seasons, the addition of representative players Kieran Foran, Beau Scott, Michael Jennings and Michael Gordon has the club primed to return to finals football for the first time since Hayne's incredible run in 2009.

The former Eels fullback believes Parramatta has the potential to finish in the top four this season.

"It was awesome to see the boys do well. I was obviously very happy to see them come away with the win," Hayne said of the Nines.

"It was huge for Brad [Arthur] and the boys. I think if Parra can keep their star players healthy, they'll be in the top four. The biggest thing is keeping them healthy. Beau Scott, Watmough, Kieran Foran - if those guys can play 80 per cent of the games they'll do well.

"Obviously the Cowboys and Broncos, their rosters didn't change too much so they're going to be in the mix as well. Hopefully Parra can have a big year, build off the confidence from the Nines and see how they go."

Hayne is back in Australia before heading back to the San Francisco 49ers for the start of preseason in April.

He said the impact of the NFL on his body was far different to rugby league.

"There's differences. Obviously NRL is pretty endurance based so you feel exhausted," Hayne said.

"But in the NFL, those hits - the impact that you have, when I came off that full game I played in Detroit, my head was ringing. Obviously that was my first time being out there that long. It was hard to sleep.

"Your neck, your shoulders, your head - people don't realise that just because you have a helmet on it helps your brain. Your brain is still hitting your skull. The couple of head on hits that I had, they knock you about."

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