Gold Coast Titans coach Neil Henry during a press conference at Titans headquarters.
Gold Coast Titans coach Neil Henry during a press conference at Titans headquarters. DAVE HUNT

Neil Henry plays down Jarryd Hayne rift talk

NEIL Henry has dismissed suggestions of a feud between he and star Gold Coast recruit Jarryd Hayne as "rubbish", but is far less certain on what the future holds for both he and the Titans' $1.2 million man.

Henry and Hayne were hauled before the Titans board on Monday to address the pair's relationship and a disappointing season for all involved at the club, with Henry dubbed a dead man walking despite being contracted until the end of 2018.

The Titans coach confirmed he had been given no clarity on his future since the marathon board meeting, but insisted he wants to at least see out the length of his term.

"There's speculation and we'll find out in due course whether or not that's true," Henry said yesterday.

"It's distracting to the players, to me, the coaching staff and everyone in the organisation ... It's upsetting, the board have got to do some due diligence, they obviously wanted to find out (why) we haven't had a great season.

"They're within their prerogative to ask some questions, they have done that and they'll come to their decision.

"I'm contracted here next year. I'd like to stay here a long time. I think we've done some good things at a club that's had a fair bit of turmoil in the last couple of years ... certainly I would like to stay here."

 

As for whether he wants Hayne to remain alongside him at the club, Henry was circumspect in his responses.

But on the widely reported falling out between the coach and $1.2 million signing, Henry bristled, claiming Hayne's own suggestion that they hadn't spoken for a week was taken out of context.

"There's no feud between us," Henry said.

"It's not like we don't talk to each other. That is rubbish.

"We converse, we talk about game tactics, there's always a bit of banter before the game.

"We're both professional about that but we both want the team to go well and I need him to play well and I need every player to play well and that's my job as a coach.

"We didn't speak about him not being here in future, we spoke prior to (Saturday's loss to the Dragons), we spoke in the team preview, so that's not quite right.

"There's no feud between us and he'd admit that as well."

 

Jarryd Hayne (centre) and his Gold Coast Titans teammates after conceding another Dragons try.
Jarryd Hayne (centre) and his Gold Coast Titans teammates after conceding another Dragons try. CRAIG GOLDING

Henry did speak openly on his disappointment in Hayne's underwhelming performances, while endorsing his proven ability as one of the game's most talented players.

But what went unspoken from Henry said just as much about Hayne's standing with the under-fire coach.

Asked whether Hayne was a team player, Henry responded: "That's a difficult one - he's part of a team and he works hard.

"Certainly we know he can play some decent football but he hasn't had the year he expected and we expected as well.

"He's certainly not on his own in our roster. Some guys have been very consistent with their football but he hasn't and he would admit to that as well."

Asked is he wanted Hayne at the club in 2018, Henry offered: "That's up to him. He's contracted here as much as I'm contracted here. Time will tell around that.

"He's disappointed in not being able to string together quality performances ... he's a quality player and if he chooses to play here he'll be part of my team."

The board is slated to reconvene next week, though reports from north of the border suggest Henry may be marched as soon as Friday, once the Titans' round 24 showdown with Parramatta is done and dusted.

Hayne is battling an ankle injury to be fit for the clash with his former side, while Henry attempts to prepare his side as usual and avoid a fifth straight loss.

News Corp Australia


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