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Arthur hits back at critics over Hayne inclusion

Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, December 05, 2017

BRAD Arthur has hit back at criticism Parramatta is making the wrong move bringing Jarryd Hayne home in 2018.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal that Hayne has agreed to a one-year deal worth $500,000, a dramatic $700,000 reduction on what the two-time Dally M Medal winner was being paid at Gold Coast.

Despite criticism from club legend Peter Sterling and premiership winner Mick Ennis that the Eels would have been better served using the money to bolster their front-row stocks, Arthur said: "Tell me a player in our days who goes from one club to another and gets a downgrade in pay?

"Anyone who leaves one club and goes to another is usually getting more money.

"Jarryd had taken a substantial hit and he has done it for all the right reasons."

Both Sterling and Ennis believe that Hayne has shown he was not a centre, and Clint Gutherson and Bevan French are better options at fullback.

Asked where he planned to play Hayne, Arthur wouldn't commit.

"Somewhere in the backline," Arthur said.

"The thing is he can play centre, he can play wing, he can play fullback.

"He has showed that he can play five-eighth.

"Between now and round one lots of things will chop and change."

But Arthur added in respect to the criticism: "It is alright to say go and buy a front-rower but there needs to be a front-rower available.

"And what they also need to know is that we still have money for a front-rower.

"If we didn't keep money last year and just went and threw it around on anybody we wouldn't have got Mitchell Moses.

"And maybe we wouldn't have finished fourth, I don't know.

"But we have money there for the right person when they come around.

"We only have 28 players in our squad.

"We still have two spots available."

That means no player will be forced out due to Hayne's return.

Throughout his career and again on the Gold Coast, Hayne's hard-to-handle personality and desire to play and train by his own rules has also left a path of destruction among former coaches.

It was a big part of the reason Neil Henry ended up copping the bullet at the Titans and before Henry other former Parramatta coaches spoke privately about the pain associated with coaching Hayne.

But Arthur said he had a good working relationship with Hayne previously, and he doesn't think it would be an issue going forward.

"It is not my business to make comment about what did and did not happen on the Gold Coast," Arthur said.

"It is all perception.

"I don't know what really happened and no disrespect to the Gold Coast but I don't really care.

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