Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has savaged Jarryd Hayne over suggestions he is looking to walk out on the Gold Coast Titans next year to return to Sydney, describing it as "pretty ordinary".
Speaking in Canberra before Friday's World Cup clash against France, Meninga said Hayne hadn't earned the right to walk out on the Titans given his inability to repay the club's investment in him when he returned from the NFL.
"I think he's let the Titans down," Meninga said.
"If he leaves the club, he hasn't played well enough to do that. He needs to make sure he stays at the club and plays the best he possibly can for them. The way they have invested in him, he hasn't invested back to the club."
NRL.com understands the Parramatta Eels are the frontrunners for his signature given their history and the amount of money available in their salary cap, but it's the timing of the latest revelations that has upset Meninga the most.
Gold Coast's sacking of coach Neil Henry was viewed as a move which would appease Hayne given their prickly relationship.
The club was hopeful Henry's replacement, Garth Brennan, would be successful in getting the best out of Hayne.
However, the Daily Telegraph reported Hayne's agent Wayne Beavis had been told by the fullback he wanted to return to Sydney for personal reasons.
Hayne has denied instructing his agent to negotiate a deal in Sydney.
"If I wanted a move back to Sydney or to any club I would've done it at the start of the year," he told Nine News in Townsville.
He posted on Twitter: "I have NOT instructed my manger (sic) to SPEAK to teams in Sydney", adding #slownewsday.
"Yeah, I agree with that," Meninga said when asked if it was particular poor form given Henry's demise.
"I reckon it's pretty ordinary what has happened there. That's just my thoughts."
Meninga said he didn't have a problem with players leaving clubs but was adamant players needed to earn the right to move on through their performances.
"I don't mind that but as long as they are committed to the club they are currently at," Meninga said.
"If they put the effort in through the year and they choose to leave then I'm happy with that. If you don't put the effort in and you let your mates down and your club down, then you have an obligation to stay at the club and do the right thing by them."
Asked if his attitude was the reason he was left out of the Kangaroos squad, Meninga said: "Not really, he wasn't playing well enough".
In response to reports, the Titans put out a statement emphasising that no request for release had been received by the club.
"Jarryd Hayne is contracted to the Titans for the 2018 season," the statement read.
"The Titans have not been in negotiation with any other club regarding the future of Jarryd Hayne. There has been no application made for Jarryd to be released from his Titans contract.
"It is the Titans expectation that Jarryd will return for pre-season training after his World Cup commitments with Fiji, and his annual leave entitlements, have been completed.
"The club will not be making any further comment on the matter unless any of the above circumstances unexpectedly change."