Eels: Hayne trialling for five-eighth

Jarryd Hayne Eels Training Five EighthThe redevelopment of the Parramatta Eels continues with coach Daniel Anderson forging more movement; hinting that Jarryd Hayne could be the clubs pivot this year.

In a change hoping to spark the struggling Eels attack and getting the promising career of Hayne back on track, Anderson has confirmed he won’t hesitate to make the move permanent should the test prove fruitful in trial games.

“I want Jarryd to touch the ball as much as he possibly can, because he’s a very talented player,” Anderson said.

“He’s been training in different positions at the moment, full-back and five-eighth included. I always like my players to have a couple of positions up their sleeve.

“I still haven’t come to an absolute conclusion, but we should know by the time we play the Roosters in a trial (February 28).”

It’s understood that Hayne has been slotted in at pivot during Eels training, running in the spot since mid January. It’s expected that Hayne will get a taste of the halves against Penrith on February 21 in the clubs initial trial.

After coming off a poor year in 2008, both club and player could probably use some changes as the 2009 NRL season draws closer.

“As much as I hated last year, I’m glad I went through it all,” Hayne said

“I wouldn’t change last year for the world, I’ve come out a better person. I’m stronger for it.

“This year has been good, the coach has really put it on me this year to come out and put my best foot forward.

“I’m really looking forward to the move, I’m excited to be around the ball. There’s not a lot of pressure on me, playing five-eighth.

“I don’t have to be like a normal five-eighth, because Feleti (Mateo) is still there as a ball-player.”

It’s believed close assistance from Andrew Johns has helped Hayne learn more about the halves and gain value confidence prior to the season proper.

“You learn so much off Joey, it’s crazy,” Hayne said.

“He comes down once a week. He’s been out of the game a year and a bit and he comes to training and it’s like he’s just going for a stroll in the park. He’s unbelievable.

“I’m really looking forward to it, I’m excited to be around the ball and close to the action.

“I know it’s going to be tough and the boys got a bit of a shock the first time I jumped in there, but it’s been all right.”

Should the trial game at pivot not work out, Feleti Mateo will remain the final five eighth option after doing an admirable job considering circumstances in recent times.

Soon to be 21, Hayne has achieved a substantial amount in the game quite quickly – getting a NSW Origin call up at a young age, however the focus has shifted back to his own and that of his team’s game to get the results in 2009.

“I’m more worried about my own form and being consistent for 26 weeks, staying injury-free and focusing on preparing my body as best I can,” he said.

“The last couple of years, I haven’t really done that.

“There have been areas that have been really good for me and others that I’ve really slackened off.

“This year I’ve started really well in the gym and I want to carry that through until the end of the year.”

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