St George Illawarra remains Jarryd Hayne’s best chance of NRL employment in 2019 but his possible move to Wollongong reportedly won’t force enigmatic full-back Matt Dufty to leave the Red V.
Reports on Wednesday suggested the inconsistent but highly talented Dufty could be pushed out by Hayne’s likely arrival, raising eyebrows among Dragons fans.
Dragons would be silly to release Matt Dufty to sign Jarryd Hayne 😂🤦🏽♂️
— Ryan 🐨 (@Ryanroxs01) November 14, 2018
But News Limited on Thursday suggested utility Kurt Mann would be the player to make way for Hayne.
According to Daily Telegraph reporter Paul Crawley Mann has requested an early release ahead of a potential switch to the Newcastle Knights.
The Dragons are also in need of a quality outside back after Nene Macdonald (North Queensland) and Jason Nightingale (retired) left the club at the end of last season.
Hayne is out of work after the Eels were unable to offer the 30-year-old a new deal for next season due to salary cap constraints.
The two-time Dally M Medal winner’s preference is to stay at the Eels but the veteran is facing the very likely prospect of having to move on.
While anything is possible in the NRL, it appears a matter of when – not if – the Hayne Plane lands at the joint-venture club.
The Eels need to clear around $500,000 worth of salary cap space to accommodate the former NSW and Australia star’s asking price of $700,000 a season.
They have unsuccessfully attempted to shop under-performing halves Corey Norman and Mitchell Moses to rival clubs in recent weeks.
Veteran centre Michael Jennings had been linked with a move to the Knights but Newcastle’s signing of Hymel Hunt and their reported interest in Mann has seemingly ended those rumours.
It appears Hayne is still holding out hope the Eels can pull off a miracle and squeeze him into their 30-man roster.
But the clock is ticking as the Saints prepare to begin pre-season training on Monday.