Dyldam Parramatta Eels co-captain Jarryd Hayne says he’s been impressed by the addition of NSW Origin player Will Hopoate to the Blue and Gold, with the former Manly winger almost back to his best.
‘Hoppa’ and Haynesy both took to the field for the first time in 2014 last Saturday night against the Sea Eagles, and Hayne says he’s looking forward to seeing what Hopoate can muster this season.
“He’s been training hard and it’s good to see him come back and be so hungry,” Hayne said.
“He’s probably the most motivated person I’ve seen train, always doing extras and doing little things right.”
Alongside other 2014 Eels recruits Corey Norman and Nathan Peats, Hayne says he’s happy to have some of the pressure taken off over the year.
“[Will’s] picked up where he left off and I think he’ll really be a quality player for us,” Hayne said.
“Especially with Corey and Peats around the halves and hooker, so that’s something we need to work hard on and get that right.”
As for his own pre-season, Hayne says he’s feeling fit after some time healing various injuries, and can’t believed the footy season is almost upon us.
“We’ve got one more weekend off to get away from footy for a bit, but it definitely come around quickly,” he said.
“After Christmas it sort of flies, and you think it’s not going to be here for awhile, but then it creeps up on you, so I’m definitely looking forward to the season.”
Jarryd is hesitant to make any promises about how the Eels will fare on the field this year, but is happy to be working under new Head Coach Brad Arthur.
“Brad’s been great, he’s been awesome - when he left Parra he had the Melbourne mentality, very hard and very straight down the line, and going to Manly he learned how they train and do things and the success they had,” he said.
“So he’s got the best of both worlds and brought it to Parra, and sometimes we train crazy hard and sometimes more smart, and I’ve really enjoyed my time under him.”