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Hayne optimistic of good campaign

Waisale Koroiwasa
Saturday, November 04, 2017

HE might have been the hot topic in the National Rugby League competition at the moment but Jarryd Hayne admitted there was a massive difference in Fiji now from when he started in 2008.

Hayne, who is believed to be leaving the Gold Coast Titans and is linked with a return to former club the Parammatta Eels, was born in Sydney to a Fijian father and Australian mother.

"We've come on in leaps and bounds. Back then we were probably where America is now in terms of talent, only having handful of first-graders and just being happy to make the World Cup," Hayne told the Guardian.

"We are three World Cups in now so we are looking to go far again."

Hayne said players such as skipper Kevin Naiqama at full-back, Akuila Uate, Taane Milne and the Suliasi Vunivalu made it easier for him to control things.

"I'm able to control things and be a conductor out there, that's what I pride myself on being in this squad," the 29-year-old said.

"I don't think the halves are my best position — full-back is my favourite — but I know I've got the skill and talent to play five-eighth.

"I've been in the league a while now and know the game as good as most.

"The guys we have out wide make my job easier.

"You've just got to give early ball to them and let them do their magic. You can really anticipate their line breaks, and their footwork is something special.

"Being Fijian, we are natural in the way we attack and that really showed (against the States)."

Hayne spent a year with the San Francisco 49ers and later joined the Vodafone Fiji 7s team to fight for a spot in the Olympic Games last year.

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