Trump Card In Race For Hayne's Signature
Jarryd Hayne has a month to decide whether to remain a Titan in 2018 but club officials are hoping that he and two other key players will recommit to the club in the next fortnight.
The deadline on whether Hayne will take up a clause in his contract to stay on for at least another season runs out at the end of May but Hayne indicated after his two-try performance against the Knights last weekend that a decision could be made much sooner.
That would be music to the ears of the Titans who are extremely keen to have their marquee signing stay on and then build the remainder of their roster for 2018 around his retention.
Hayne is spending time in Sydney this week doing additional training aimed at fast-tracking his return to the fullback position but is also believed to be taking the opportunity to meet with a number of Sydney clubs.
The trump card for the Titans is that the clubs in question are apparently unwilling or unable to match the offer that is already on the table to stay on the Gold Coast with the lifestyle north of the border also a positive for Hayne, partner Amellia and daughter Beliviah.
The Titans are currently deep in negotiations to retain both Tyrone Roberts and Nathan Peats and now that he has returned to the playing field after a six-week layoff Hayne is also keen to make a decision on his future in the next two weeks.
"I haven't really thought about it deeply. I've just been worrying about football more than anything," Hayne said following the 38-8 demolition of the Knights.
"When you get injured and have these dark days when you're trying to fight back and get into form, that's the main focus and then figuring out what's going to happen next year and going forward.
"I haven't really thought about it and I guess in a couple of weeks I'll make a decision.
"I love the Gold Coast. It's been a great spot and from the get-go the community's been great.
"The vibe's awesome, I really love it up here. I love the beach and what-not but I'm just worrying about football and trying to let the football do the talking."
Despite reports suggesting there was a rift between Hayne and coach Neil Henry club officials remain extremely comfortable with the working relationship between the pair and are confident Hayne will stay with the club.
Issues relating to his performance during pre-season training were also reported to have caused tension between he and his Titan teammates but the 29-year-old two-time Dally M Medal winner hit out at those who believe he doesn't contribute to a positive team culture.
"I just let my football do the talking and that speaks louder than anyone's comments or anyone's words or anyone's articles. When you let the football do the talking they look like idiots," Hayne said of his critics.
"Your teammates speak volumes for you, the blokes that you play with, and I haven't heard it from one of them.
"I've heard it from what people perceive or what they look at and maybe it's because I don't show emotion.
"It is what it is but at the end of the day I've been in this league for 10 years. I'm not some second-year kid, I've been in this league for 10 years, I've made as many rep teams as I can remember and if you have that attitude you're not going to make those sides."
This article first appeared on NRL.com