Jarryd Hayne close to playing for Waratahs after 2nd meeting with ARU; move could lift standards of Wallabies
San Francisco 49ers running back Jarryd Hayne (38) poses with an Australian flag after the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi's Stadium. Reuters - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jarryd Hayne is a step closer to playing for the NSW Waratahs Rugby following his second meeting with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), a move Australian Coach Michael Cheika said will help lift the standards of the Wallabies.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Hayne was seen emerging from a secret meeting with ARU boss Bill Pulver at rugby’s St. Leonards headquarters last Wednesday. The meeting took place just three weeks after Hayne first met with Pulver.

Hayne and his manager Wayne Beavis declined to comment when approached but it is clear that the ARU and Hayne discussed the possibility of him playing for the Waratahs in Super Rugby next year.

Pulver confirmed that he had a dialogue with Hayne and his manager.

“We have had a dialogue with Jarryd and discussed the potential opportunities available to him in Rugby,” he said. Puliver adds that they are always open to “talking to a player interested in playing the game.”

Cheika thinks Hayne switching to the ARU and playing for the Waratahs will help Wallaby players.

Foxsports reports that Cheika said quality marquee players like Hayne will only make the team he plays for more competitive. He said that a competitive team usually plays in the finals.

“They’re being competitive with the best teams in the comp, which is only good for the other players,” he said. “I’ve lived that experience in Ireland when we had foreign marquee players and they helped us to become more competitive.”

No money was discussed during Hayne’s meeting with Pulver but he and Beavis were seeking clarity on how the ARU contract in 2017 could be structured for Hayne. The former NRL, NFL and Fijian sevens star is looking to play rugby in Japan in the second half of 2017 to supplement his limited package in Australian rugby.

The Waratahs could potentially offer Hayne AU$300,000 a year, probably more with third-party arrangements. If he signs with the Waratahs, Hayne will join his childhood mate Israel Folau.