Gold Coast Titans star Jarryd Hayne.
Gold Coast Titans star Jarryd Hayne. DAVE HUNT

Jarryd Hayne emerging as a big piece of player market jigsaw

WOULD you be willing to pay $1.2 million for a centre?

The Titans sure are and the move is proving a masterstroke.

Since Jarryd Hayne made the move from fullback to left centre, the Gold Coast has hit another gear with two wins, including the thrilling upset of Melbourne that's been tagged one of the best in its 10-year history.

The former Eel made Queensland Origin three-quarter Dane Gagai look like a schoolboy in his demolition of the Knights three weeks ago.

With Tyrone Roberts in career-best form and comfortable at fullback, Neil Henry has given Hayne a licence to roam.

He also possesses an option for a second season on the Glitter Strip and has two weeks to activate it.

Hayne will secure $1.1 million on the salary cap in 2018 with the other $100,000 in third parties to make up his impressive price tag.

With the halves puzzle almost complete for 2018, the next position to feel the impact of a fluid market is centre.

As it stands, 18 players with first-grade experience in this role remain unsigned for next season.

The drawn-out contract talks between Josh Dugan and St George Illawarra have been well documented.

The Dragons' recruitment team has made no bones of its opinion it views Dugan as a world-class centre and is willing to pay him accordingly.

It's put a notional value of a Test-quality centre at $700,000.

 

Josh Dugan of the Dragons runs with the ball.
Josh Dugan of the Dragons runs with the ball. PAUL MILLER

South Sydney appears to have done the same with Newcastle ace Gagai reportedly set to leave the Hunter for a three-year deal at the Rabbitohs.

Gagai's Maroons teammate Will Chambers is understood to be asking for the same figure.

The Melbourne three-quarter has been linked with the Roosters.

Cronulla star Jack Bird will be paid about $900,000 when he joins Brisbane next season, although he's expected to spend time in the halves and at fullback rather than being viewed as a centre.

Which brings us back to Hayne and the Titans. At the moment Henry's bold move is paying off.

But how long can the team's best player, and a man pulling in close to double the next highest paid earner at the club, remain in what is fast becoming the NRL's lowest paid position?

News Corp Australia

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