Dyldam Parramatta Eels co-captain Jarryd Hayne says he’s excited to see his teammates in action, as they take the field for the first time as the 2014 outfit tonight in Alice Springs against the Wests Tigers.
Hayne will sit out the first trial, intended by Head Coach Brad Arthur to test the forward pack and introduce younger players like Zach Dockar-Clay, John Folau and Toby Evans.
“They’re the young three that have trained really well in the pre-season, and it’s good to see their hard work paying off and getting an opportunity to pull a jersey on,” Hayne said.
“The boys will do well for us, it’s mainly our defence [they’ve been working on], the attack will look after itself.”
Hayne says he’s excited to see what Chris Sandow does replacing him at fullback for part of the game, which will be used to test players in different spots.
“Chrissy, he’s thinks he’s [former Cowboys star fullback] Matty Bowen at the moment,” Hayne joked.
“He’s definitely got the skill for fullback, I’m just not sure he’s got the engine!”
Hayne joined his teammates in the Northern Territory for the Community Carnival, implementing the NRL’s Tackle Bullying program in 16 schools around the Red Centre.
“It’s obviously a great thing, the kids here aren’t too familiar with rugby league, so hopefully in a couple of years they will be,” he said.
“They love getting out there and are really into sports and getting out and being active.”
With the 2014 NRL Premiership season just four weeks away, Hayne says he can’t wait to begin competing again.
“Nobody enjoys pre-season, so the faster that goes, the better and the season is right around the corner,” he said.
“It seems slow before Christmas - it seems like you’ve got a lot of time off, but then you come back it’s four weeks of trials, and then the first game!”