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Hayne set to play, stay with NRL Titans

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/04/2017 Laine Clark

A plan is in place if Jarryd Hayne does not stay at the Gold Coast, but Titans coach Neil Henry believes it is the fullback will leave the NRL club.

Hayne is set to make his long-awaited NRL return in Saturday night's clash against Cronulla after a five week layoff with an ankle injury.

The Titans are expected to make a final call on Hayne, co-captain Kevin Proctor (hamstring) and centre Konrad Hurrell (knee) after training on Friday.

D-Day is also looming for Hayne's signature.

Hayne has two weeks to decide whether to take up a $1 million Titans offer for next year.

Titans boss Graham Annesley has slammed reports that claimed the Gold Coast wanted to offload the injury-hit former Test star.

Henry said the Titans had a plan in place if Hayne decided to leave but was quietly confident the ex-NFL player would stay.

"That contract is sitting there. We don't have to negotiate anything - it's there," Henry said.

"It's up to him if he takes it up.

"If he decides not to - which I think is unlikely - then we will go to plan B, we might have to look at our outside backs."

Hayne, Hurrell and Proctor all ran freely at Titans training on Friday morning before media were asked to leave.

Co-captain Ryan James has been cleared of an ankle injury but backrower Chris Grevsmuhl (groin) will be monitored.

Henry asked for patience with Hayne, saying he would need time to find his feet when he finally returns after being restricted to eight games since his NRL comeback.

"Everyone expects Jarryd to come out and be the player of the match and do something special," the Titans coach said.

"He is heavily scrutinised every time he plays and he has high expectations.

"But he hasn't been able to settle into any rhythm here.

"My expectation is that he will have a solid game (on Saturday night) and that will do."

Henry said he would consider either Hayne replacing Tyrone Roberts at fullback, slotting the NRL star into centre or using him off the bench against defending premiers the Sharks.

"In the centres he won't need to cover as much ground as a fullback - that will be an issue for him considering he has spent a lot of time off his legs," Henry said of Hayne.

"We may have to be a bit creative there."

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