Melbourne Storm lock Dale Finucane has welcomed the return of Jarryd Hayne, saying the former San Francisco 49er's decision to sign with the Gold Coast Titans is good for the game of rugby league.
Hayne signed a two-year deal with the Titans on Wednesday morning, and will likely front up for Gold Coast on Sunday when they host the Warriors.
"Obviously I was quite surprised, I was unaware that it was on the radar for this year because he'd been involved in other sports, but I'm happy for it to occur, obviously it'll boost the Titans' stocks and be good for our game," Finucane said.
"You want the best players available to play the game, and he's obviously one of the best while he was playing, so I think it can only be positive, and boost the excitement around the game."
With the news on the Gold Coast set to dominate headlines over the coming days, the Storm will continue to fly under the radar in Melbourne, having won 12 of their past 13 matches.
Finucane said his side was rolling along nicely but played down suggestions the Storm were the team to beat in the NRL.
"We've been preforming pretty well which is pleasing, we're quite pleased with our record and how we're playing at the moment," Finucane said.
"[Our ladder position] doesn't change anything for us, I don't know whether too many of the boys read too much into what the media are saying about our chances of success, it really is just the focus on our team and that's all we can control."
The Storm's push for a minor premiership begins on Saturday night, as they host a Rabbitohs side on an eight-game losing streak.
Even though the Bunnies won't feature in this year's finals, Finucane said they would be a tough test – especially after welcoming back Greg Inglis from suspension.
"I know they're obviously a power team in the middle with their forwards as they have been in the last few years, so that's where a lot of their strike power is, as well as their outside backs too," Finucane said.
"Wherever [Inglis] is playing, whether it be centre, five-eighth or fullback, he's obviously one of their star players, and he adds to them wherever he is on the field."
"I don't think it matters whether he's fatigued or fresh, those calibre of players rise to the occasion no matter what the match is."