Hayne 80 minutes from Origin return
JARRYD Hayne is 80 minutes away from returning to the State of Origin stage he was dominating when a flirtation with American football so rudely interrupted.
After a overcoming a knee issue this week, it seems Hayne only needs to get through tonight’s match against Manly to secure NSW selection for the 2017 series opener on May 31.
Since returning from an ankle injury in Round 8, 29year-old Hayne has impressed despite a move from fullback to centre — so much so that he will likely fill that role for Laurie Daley’s Blues after his two-breaking series absence.
And Daley will surely have his fingers crossed today, keen to recall the veteran of 21 Origin appearances since 2007 and hero of the Blues’ drought- 2014 series win.
Hayne has shaped up against Queensland Origin players Dane Gagai (Newcastle) and Will Chambers (Melbourne) in the past two weeks and today comes up against Manly’s in-form NSW hopeful Dylan Walker.
Titans coach Neil Henry has no doubt Hayne’s experience and utility value mean the move to the centres hasn’t hurt his Origin ambitions.
“He’s held his own playing in the centres, he’s certainly adaptable enough to play in the centres or elsewhere for NSW,” Henry said.