League: Eels need CEO and coach as rumours fly over Hayne

By Steve Jancetic

Jarryd Hayne is said to be considering a move to Canterbury after an awful season. Photo / Getty Images
Jarryd Hayne is said to be considering a move to Canterbury after an awful season. Photo / Getty Images

Parramatta prop Tim Mannah says the Eels have sacrificed plenty to keep Jarryd Hayne, but claims finding a coach and chief executive is more a priority for the NRL club than worrying about player movements.

Hayne has been linked with a big-money shift to Canterbury - a move that would cap arguably the worst season in Eels history - with coach Ricky Stuart and chief executive Ken Edwards having already quit a club that claimed its second straight wooden spoon.

While there are now suggestions the Bulldogs are more interested in luring Will Hopoate - who is due to join the Eels in 2014 after a two-year Mormon mission - Mannah said the Eels could not afford to take their eyes off the big picture.

"The club needs to focus on getting the vacated roles filled - the CEO and the coach - before they worry about players' movements," Mannah said. "Those rumours [about Hayne going to Canterbury] have been around for a while.

"He knows what he means to Parramatta; Parramatta's sacrificed a lot to keep him there. He's an important part of our club but at the same time, he's his own man."

With the Eels still training under Trent Elkin, Mannah said he had not noticed a change in Hayne's attitude to the club in the wake of Stuart's abrupt departure.

"He's been at training - he's been turning up every day with the same attitude," Mannah said. "There's no point me getting too worried about something that's just rumour."

Stuart quit the club last week just one year into a three-year deal, and promptly announced he had joined Canberra on a three-year deal.

It continues a sorry tale of woe for coaches at the Eels, with Hayne himself having had six coaches in his seven years in the top grade.

Mannah admitted the constant changes at the top had taken their toll.

"It's a tough situation in terms of the instability we've had over our careers," Mannah said.

"We're both the same age Jarryd and I, we've gone through a fair few coaches in our time at Parra.

"Every coach wants to come in and build their own culture and start from scratch."

- AAP

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