Rugby: Jarryd Hayne to be considered for Fiji selection

Jarryd Hayne could represent Fiji in three codes having already played for their league and sevens teams. Photo / Getty Images
Jarryd Hayne could represent Fiji in three codes having already played for their league and sevens teams. Photo / Getty Images

Fiji's rugby coach John McKee will consider Jarryd Hayne for selection against the Wallabies next year should the code-hopping star switch to the XV-man game.

McKee revealed he had already held discussions with Hayne about Fiji's 2019 World Cup campaign, and he believes the former NRL and NFL star can become a world-class inside centre.

"I had a conversation with Jarryd while he was in Fiji training during the Sevens camp, I discussed with him the XVs program we've got going forward and our plans towards the 2019 World Cup which he was quite interested in," McKee told the Daily Telegraph.

"The outcome of that discussion was, from my point of view, that if he was playing rugby union and showing good form then I would certainly consider him for selection."

Fiji will play the Wallabies in Australia next June and 28-year-old Hayne would give the Test match a huge marketing boost were he to line up for the Pacific Islanders.

Hayne has yet to make a decision on his future but has now met twice with the ARU about the potential of joining the Waratahs in Super Rugby, while he also has big offers to return to the NRL.

McKee believes Hayne has the necessary skills to transition from a league fullback into a rugby No.12, the same position former NRL star turned All Black Sonny Bill Williams plays.

"He could be a very good No.12, people think of him coming from league as going from fullback to fullback, but I think he could work well at inside centre," McKee said.

"Jarryd is a very skilful footballer. He really understands the game in terms of manipulating the defence.

"The important thing is he has got a good understanding of playing close to the line, and being able to use a variety of plays.

"We know he is quick, but he is also a very strong, powerful player.

"It will be interesting to see where he eventually plays and what position."

McKee, who has the full four-year term to prepare Fiji for the 2019 World Cup in Japan, said he is excited about the team's potential.

"We have got a good core group of players around 21, 22 years who are just starting to hit their stripes.

"There are a number of Sevens players that post Rio Olympics will switch over and I expect them to make their mark.

"Previously, Fiji has tended to start planning for World Cups 18 months out, whereas this time we've got the full four years.

'We're going to have a lot of talented players and good depth in our squad."

- news.com.au

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