Jarryd Hayne during a Gold Coast Titans training session.
Jarryd Hayne during a Gold Coast Titans training session. DAVE HUNT

Kangaroos coach says Hayne's not ready for captaincy

AUSTRALIAN coach and rugby league legend Mal Meninga has emphatically quashed any suggestion Jarryd Hayne is fit to captain the Gold Coast.

Hayne was snubbed by the Titans in naming their captains for the 2017 season, opting instead for Ryan James and recruit Kevin Proctor.

It took some by surprise, given Hayne's influence on the field and his overall experience, but Meninga told Queenslanders Only on Fox Sports he fully agreed with the decision to bypass the cross-code star.

"You don't know, you don't know what Jarryd's going to do from week to week in my opinion," Meninga said.

"He's already made comments that next year he could be playing (rugby) in Toulon or playing in Japan or he could be playing NFL - we're not quite sure what he's going to do.

"Based on those comments he can't be in the leadership group, he can't be a captain, because he might not even be there."

Meninga has come down hard on code-hoppers in recent times, dumping Semi Radradra from Test calculations after the Parramatta winger confirmed he would leave rugby league at the end of the year.

Hayne left the NRL to try his hand at American football, then briefly rugby sevens, before returning to the fold with the Titans midway through 2016.

But he's made it clear his future in the game is far from concrete, and Meninga isn't happy.

Former Queensland and Australian centre Justin Hodges was also strong on the matter of Hayne's captaincy credentials.

"I wouldn't have made him captain," Hodges told Queenslanders Only.

"He's only just come back to our game. What I've seen of him as a player he's not a player that you would probably respond to as a captain.

"And the guys they chose they got it right: Ryan James, who I don't know how he hasn't played for NSW yet, and Kevin Proctor. who's learnt off Craig Bellamy, Cameron Smith - he knows what he can bring to his team."

Queensland coach Kevin Walters agreed with his fellow panel members.

"I wouldn't have him (Hayne) as captain ... but he will be a key player for the Titans this year," Walters said.

"I don't think Jarryd Hayne is the kind of player that needs the captaincy to play at another level."

News Corp Australia


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