The man who helped whip Jarryd Hayne into shape for his journeys across the sporting codes believes the Gold Coast recruit is ready to handle the physical demands of playing 80 minutes at fullback on Sunday.

Hayne will play his first game of rugby league on Sunday since September 2014 when he left Parramatta to pursue his NFL dream. The lengthy absence, coupled with the changes in body shape required to first adapt to American football and then to rugby sevens, has raised questions about Hayne’s ability to slot straight back into top-flight rugby league so deep into a season.

Titans coach Neil Henry has been assessing Hayne’s fitness levels during his first training sessions with the team, but has indicated he will likely start him from the interchange bench against the Warriors at Cbus Super Stadium.

However, renowned sprint coach Roger Fabri, who has worked with Hayne at his Speed Agility Academy throughout the 28-year-old’s athletic incarnations, believes he is already in the shape required to handle the rigours of modern fullback play.

“Going to Fiji rugby, he had no option but to train hard because it’s a game based on speed, endurance and repeat efforts,” Fabri said.

“In coming back to me, I could honestly say he is athletically in the best physical shape he has been here.

Originally Published Brisbane Times
August 6, 2016
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