Hayne to continue at fullback: Kearney

Despite being overlooked for selection in that position, Eels coach Stephen Kearney has said that he has no plans to move Jarryd Hayne from his preferred position of fullback.

The comments come after Blues coach Ricky Stuart says that although Hayne is a fullback, he plays more like a traditional five-eighth.

Despite these comments from Stuart however, Kearney has no intention of playing Hayne at five-eighth, in the immediate future.

After being trialled at five-eighth in 2009 with mixed results under coach Daniel Anderson, it was then that Hayne made the move to fullback.

“For Parramatta at the moment, Jarryd’s best position is fullback,” Kearney said.

“I’m very pleased he’s available for us. He’s our fullback and that’s where he’s going to be playing this weekend.”

Despite being questioned about Hayne’s exclusion from the NSW squad, Kearney refused to answer any questions on the matter.

“It’s not for me to comment on. Jarryd has spoken to Ricky and he knows what he’s got to do and where he’s got to get to,” Kearney said of Hayne’s Origin axing.

“Of course he’s disappointed but it’s not going to change anything by me saying anything or (Hayne) saying anything.”

With many critics criticising his form and attitude, Hayne will have no better chance to keep them all quiet, with the Eels playing the Sharks tomorrow night.

Greg Alexander, former Penrith and NSW five-eighth supports Kearney’s decision to retain Hayne at fullback for the next few seasons.

“There’s no doubt he plays like a five-eighth, but fullback is his best spot,” Alexander said.

“Some of the things he does are from second receiver, but having him pigeonholed at five-eighth in the front line just wouldn’t give him the freedom that fullback offers.”

Kearney also confirmed that the recruitment drive for the Eels is not yet over, having already secured Chris Sandow, Ben Roberts and Esi Tonga for 2012.

“We are still actively out there just seeing what we need and we’re still working through that,” Kearney said.

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