Hayne and Pearce to square off in mouth-watering NRL trial

Two of the biggest NRL off-season signings, Jarryd Hayne and Mitchell Pearce, will make their first public appearances for their new clubs in a mouth-watering preseason trial in Maitland on February 24.

The Newcastle Knights and Parramatta Eels confirmed to NRL.com that both Pearce and Hayne would play their first game in front of their respective fans in the second week of the trials.

The Knights have locked in a trial behind closed doors against the Melbourne Storm the week before and are expected to give Pearce limited time in that fixture, however he won’t be paraded in front of fans until the following week against the Eels.

“We’ll give Mitchell a good run in Maitland,” Knights coach Nathan Brown told NRL.com.

“It will be our big hit out before the season. It’ll be a good opportunity for him and the boys to work on those combinations.

“We’ll probably give him 40 minutes or so in the closed trial against Melbourne the week before but the fans won’t get a chance to see him until the Maitland trial against the Eels.”

Jarryd Hayne at Eels training.
Jarryd Hayne at Eels training. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

The Eels have two trials locked in, but coach Brad Arthur won’t use many of the players from his top 30 in the opening match against North Sydney.

Arthur hasn’t decided what position Hayne will play against the Knights in Maitland, but he did confirm that the former Titans fullback will feature in the club’s final hit-out before the start of the NRL season.

"You’d think they’ll also have Jarryd Hayne playing so it’ll be quite a game,” Brown said.

“Haynesy attracts attention whatever he does and he has returned to Parra now so it’ll be a pretty special day for both clubs.”