Jarryd Hayne's NFL story could help NRL go global

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Jarryd Hayne
NRL could expand its market around the world by using Jarryd Hayne’s NFL success. Reuters/Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers rookie Jarryd Hayne’s NFL dream could offer an opportunity for the National Rugby League to expand its market in the US, Asia and Europe, according to a report.

Rupert Murdoch appointed global chief executive Robert Thomson has told a private gathering of some of Australia’s powerful media and sports bosses to reveal the possibility of the NRL going global through Hayne’s NFL transition story.

According to The Australian, Thomson has laid down a blueprint for an ambitious rugby league global expansion during a closed-door meeting at the Sydney law firm Clayton Utz this week. Thomson, who recently helped clinch the AFL’s historic $2.598 billion media rights agreement, said the move would take the footy code to a new level by “leveraging the pulling power” of Murdoch’s newspapers and TV networks, which could possibly see the NRL staging matches and preseason tours overseas.

Australian Rugby League commissioner John Grant said the move, which offers a big opportunity for the code, was high on his agent under the 2018-2022 deal.

“We will go back to Europe where we have a rugby league base to play off. News is very keen on Asia and we’re very keen on the US, which is the 21st Century Fox platform,” Grant said. “News Corp will use its worldwide resources to take NRL on to the global stage where we believe over time it has incredible appeal and can attract an army of new fans.”

Meanwhile, Hayne has been battling for a spot in the 49ers active roster after the Australian rugby league star was relegated to the team’s practice squad earlier this month. But according to the Sydney Morning Herald, the 27-year-old rookie could be close to suiting up for the 49ers on game days as his teammates continue to struggle.

San Francisco waived Hayne after fumbling three punts in as many as six games, and then was signed into the team’s practice squad after clearing off waivers. But even without Hayne, the 49ers still continue their fumbling woes, with Ellington coughing up a kickoff return, which harmlessly went out of bounds.

Contact the writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au, or let us know what you think below.

Join the Discussion