Hayne will wait until season's end before deciding future
Parramatta star Jarryd Hayne says he will take time off at season's end to clear his head before he makes his next football decision.
The 30-year-old has played 182 NRL games with the Eels in two stints but is off contract at the end of this Telstra Premiership season.
There has been talk he may be tempted to return to rugby union – the 15-man game this time – and make a short but determined bid to play for Fiji at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
But if he signs again with the Eels that would seem to rule out rugby.
So Hayne has 10 weeks to decide if it's the NRL or trying to be a dual international in the longer form of rugby union. He played games with the Fiji sevens side in 2016.
"For me it's about the team [Eels]. I want to win games," he said on Tuesday.
"It's not about being the man or anything like that. It brings a kind of joy when you're winning games with your mates.
"My philosophy in life is everything will look after itself. I'm not changing that for anyone.
"I enjoy that not knowing what's going to happen. I've done it before," Hayne said, referring to leaving league in late 2014 and going to play for the San Francisco 49ers in NFL.
"I want to have a break. I'm not going to rush into any decision … take a big breath and once my head is clear then I'll have a think – but not right now."
So no discussions have been held, or even planned, with Eels management considering the NRL is two-thirds of the way through the 2018 season?
"Even my manager, I don't want him ringing anyone. I just want to get the season over, have a break, get my head straight, and whatever happens, happens."
Hayne also said it was disappointing to hear comments like Fox Sports panellist Michael Ennis questioning his enthusiasm for rugby league.
"I’m starting to wonder whether Jarryd Hayne really wants to play anymore,” Ennis said on the Big League Wrap on Monday night.
"His body language at times gives me a sense to think, that he doesn’t have that love for it anymore."
Hayne revealed he jarred the A/C joint at the top of his left shoulder in the first half of Fiji's loss to PNG last Saturday in the Pacific Test.
"I could have easily come off and said 'Enough is enough'," Hayne said. "But I went in at half-time and said 'Just strap it.' I had to play on the other side of the field just to protect it," he said, adding that comments like Ennis showed ignorance more than anything else.
"We played for Fiji for $600 a week – tradies get more than us. If you don't have passion for the jersey, you're not going to last."
Hayne said he would strap his shoulder and have a pain-killing injection to get through the next few NRL games, starting with the Dragons on Thursday night at WIN Stadium.
The Dragons had eight players involved in the representative weekend - the Eels had six, even though they are 16th and St George Illawarra lead the competition.
"We haven't been playing the way we want to play, so it's been tough," Hayne said of the Eels three wins and 12 losses.
"Since I've been back after the week away, there is a great vibe here to get the fundamentals right. If we get the little things right – back our defence and really grind a game out – and string some wins together.
"We can finish well."