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Jarryd Hayne: the on-field rise and off-field fall of an enigma

first_imgShare on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook On the field he was sporadically brilliant – he won his second match back with a field goal – and largely ordinary. He could appear nonchalant, frustrated, even bored. Injury set him back. And after 23 matches in two seasons he headed “home” to Parramatta to play 15 games for the Eels, approaching very decent form towards the end of season ’18, cynics suggesting because contract negotiations were coming up.Yet with his two suitors – Parramatta Eels and St George Illawarra Dragons – appearing cold on him, it’s not something Hayne need be concerned with for the time being. On December 10, Hayne, 30, will face court for alleged aggravated sexual assault. If proven it carries a maximum 20-year sentence. Chief executive of the NRL, Todd Greenberg, declared that Hayne’s case has “nothing to do with the NRL”. It’s something that could apply to Hayne himself given he also faces a civil suit for an alleged rape in San Francisco in 2016. Since you’re here… Good luck to Jarryd Hayne on his latest adventure, but is it really a good idea? Matt Cleary On Monday afternoon, November 19, Hayne fronted Sydney’s Castle Hill police station where he was charged with aggravated sexual assault. He did not offer a statement nor answer questions. Ten hours after being charged he was released on $20,000 bail. His passport was seized. He was ordered to report to police three times a week.Police will allege that Hayne bit a woman upon her vagina with such force that she required medical attention the next day. It’s alleged that Hayne met the woman on social media and took a cab to her house in the Hunter Valley, two hours north of Sydney. It’s alleged he asked the driver to wait, meter running, before going inside where he reportedly “tore off” the woman’s clothing and engaged in consensual sex which allegedly became non-consensual. Twenty minutes later he got back in the cab.Police will allege the 26-year-old woman later told Hayne via the social media app: “You’ve hurt me”. It’s been reported that Hayne had been drinking and afterwards continued drinking into the early hours of the next day in a western Sydney bowling club. The woman’s mother – who was present in the house during the alleged assault – will be called as a witness. As will the taxi driver. On Hayne’s return to Castle Hill station, he was swamped by media.Media has always swarmed to Jarryd Hayne; moths to his flame. The rise and rise of the man known as both “Hayne Plane” – for celebrating try-scoring feats with outstretched arms – and “Hayne Train” after his powerful, irrepressible play, is a story of poor kid made good. Brought up in western Sydney by a single mum, he debuted for NSW Blues in the hyper-physical cauldron of State of Origin aged just 19. His run of best-on-ground performances in a storied stretch in 2009 won Parramatta Eels a place in the grand final. He twice won the Dally M Medal for the NRL’s best player.In his pomp, the man was dazzling. He had speed, footwork, evasion, power and skill. There were times he transcended rugby league. And when he took his game to America and made telling runs in pre-season NFL matches, Australia bayed for him. And it wasn’t just Australians. In his first game, #HaynePlane trended on Twitter. A Guardian live blog went viral. The journalist (it was, ahem, this one) was interviewed on ESPN’s Sportscenter. He had job offers from Sports Illustrated. San Francisco Tourism flew him to Levi’s Stadium. Share on Messenger Topics Share via Email Jarryd Hayne accused of rape during time with San Francisco 49ers Support The Guardian Read more Read more NRL Rape and sexual assault NRL star Jarryd Hayne charged with aggravated sexual assault features Yet like the blogger’s “15 minutes”, Hayne Mania waned. He still owned column inches and airtime; Australians still wanted to know. Yet time zones made it difficult – his games were live in Australia at 2.30am. He also didn’t seem to do a lot. In an ill-fated fixture against Baltimore Ravens he fumbled the football, and not for the first time. He was benched, returning to the active roster when other players were injured.The 49ers didn’t make the post-season and coach Jim Tomsula – who’d taken a punt recruiting Hayne – was himself punted. New coach Chip Kelly turned up with a new playbook and Hayne believed, perhaps correctly, that his on-field minutes were not assured. So he quit – to try out for the rugby sevens team of Fiji who were bound for the Rio Olympics.It was typical of Hayne the enigma. Media, associates, opponents, would tell you he’s something of an odd bird, a strange cat. Teammates describe him as equal parts generous and selfish. Vision of Hayne celebrating on his own in an Origin match was used by NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler to decry poor team culture.The greater public of Australia has never really had a handle on him. He’s part of the “happy clapping”, Pentecostal, mega-church Hillsong. He’s always seemed a bit “other”; a celebrity – and not one fans feel they know.Fiji didn’t know if Hayne could play rugby sevens but gave him a go because he was Jarryd Hayne, and it was no skin off their nose. Yet he didn’t have the time, nous or fitness required of a rugby sevens player – much less that of a Fijian rugby sevens player months out from winning Olympic gold in Rio – and back to Australia he came.After assuring Eels fans that if he ever came back to the NRL it would be to Parramatta, Hayne signed with Gold Coast Titans on Australia’s sunshine strip of beaches and bars, and white-shoed realtors. He prayed at Hillsong, became a father with a woman he’d recently met through social media, and was “warned off” by the NRL’s integrity unit after an Instagram post showed him hanging out with a Hell’s Angel associate flashing a fistful of fifties. Jarryd Hayne In the heady days around his debut for San Francisco 49ers, September 15, 2015, Jarryd Hayne drew as much press in Australia as the country’s change of prime minister. Admittedly Australia changes PM relatively frequently – there’s been five in the last 5 years. Yet Hayne’s journey from housing commission kid to rugby league superstar and onwards, outwards, upwards to the big show in America captivated the nation. Australia sport Share on WhatsApp Rugby league Read more Reuse this contentlast_img

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