Rugby shuts door on Hayne
IF Jarryd Hayne's dreaming about switching codes to rugby union, he's in for a rude awakening because the 'Hayne Plane' isn't going to get the clearance to take off, at least for now.
That's the blunt message from rugby officials, who would have the final say on whether the out-of-contract NRL star would even be allowed to register for the 15-man game, regardless of the level.
Rugby Australia has a strict code of conduct that applies to all players, even amateurs, before they can be registered to play the game, including a clause that would effectively block Hayne's eligibility to switch codes while he's facing criminal charges.
Rugby Australia would not comment on Hayne's specific case but said players need to satisfy all the requirements of the code before they could be registered.
According to the code, players must "disclose any incident, matter or set of circumstances (irrespective of when it occurred) that does, or has the potential to, render you an unfit or improper person to be a Participant in Australian Rugby. This includes any incident, matter or set or circumstances that could damage the game of Rugby or bring into question the integrity and good character of its Participants."
Rugby Australia have already demonstrated their willingness to strictly enforce the code after shutting the door on Ben Barba possibly returning to rugby after he was sacked by North Queensland.
Hayne is currently fighting aggravated sexual assault charge after the one-time NFL player had sex with a 26-year-old woman without her consent in the Hunter Valley region on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final.
He is due back in court on April 3 and intends to plead not guilty.
It's alleged Hayne is also at the centre of a civil lawsuit in the US over an allegation of "rape", while he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers in 2015.
His sporting career is in limbo, with NRL clubs steering clear while he faces criminal charges, before he was linked with a possible move to rugby after being spotted at an Eastwood training session.
The Woodies' first grade coach Ben Batger said it was "very, very unlikely" Hayne would line up for Eastwood this year and the only reason he went to training was because he has a mate at the club and wanted to do "a bit fitness."
It is understood Rugby Australia has no concerns about Hayne training with teams but the sport's officials have made it clear the 30-year-old former Parramatta Eel wouldn't be allowed to play even if wanted to.
NSW Rugby has not received any applications from any of the 11 clubs in the Shute Shield to sign Hayne and The Daily Telegraph understands the NSW Waratahs have "no interest" in signing him for Super Rugby because they've already got a stacked backline that includes Test fullback Israel Folau.
And higher honours are definitely out of the question.
Even if the Wallabies did want him Hayne's not eligible to play for Australia because he represented Fiji in sevens as part of his botched attempt to make the 2016 Rio Olympics.