Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson has admitted that he would be interested in signing Fiji Sevens player Jarryd Hayne.
Gibson, who was speaking ahead of his side’s encounter with the Sunwolves in Tokyo, said he would try to lure the code hopper to the Sydneysiders as it would be in the Australian Rugby Union’s best interests to bring a player of Hayne’s profile to rugby.
“He’s a talented player … he’s one hell of a player and I think we’d be definitely interested,” Gibson told the Sydney Morning Herald.
A big stumbling block, however, is that Hayne will command a huge salary and the chances are slim that the ARU would give him a top-up as he is ineligible to play for the Wallabies.
World Rugby’s eligibility rules state: “Once the player has represented the union of which he is a national, in an Olympic event, he shall thereafter be tied to that union for all forms of the game and in all events.”
This means Hayne’s appearance for Fiji at the London Sevens event this year has already spoiled his chances of playing for the Wallabies.
Gibson said the idea of Hayne joining the Waratahs is something that should be considered even if he would be earning well above the AUS$300,000.
“Most of the top 20 or 30 players – I don’t know the absolute numbers – but certainly the players are topped up to some degree so 100 per cent [a Super Rugby club could afford him],” added Gibson.
“His commercial value … I’m sure the ARU would be keen to maximise that and get the best players playing our code.”