Coogee Oval is a long way away from Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, but that’s where Jarryd Hayne went to work to ensure his NFL dream comes alive.

Training under the watchful eye of renowned sprint coach Roger Fabri, the former Parramatta fullback showed he had lost none of his speed despite transforming his body for the rigours of American football. Looking noticeably thicker across his shoulders and chest, the two-time Dally M medallist was put through his paces in the eastern suburbs on Friday.

Fabri – whose clients include David Warner, Sonny Bill Williams and Mark Bosnich – has worked with Hayne over many years. However, he has not seen the former Origin star look this sharp so early in the season.

“For this time of the year, compared to every other time he has presented himself, he’s more efficient and much bigger and stronger than I’ve ever seen him,” Fabri said.

“He’s come back with a lot more intelligence from what he’s learnt while he’s been away. But it’s still early days and there’s plenty of work we want to do and this is just the start.

“Everything we do from now will make him better. We’re hoping to get as many sessions in before he takes off.”

Hayne’s management is hopeful of striking a deal with an NFL franchise, possibly as soon as this week. Several teams have expressed interest, with Detroit, San Francisco and Seattle among the favourites. Lions general manager Martin Mayhew confirmed he was “in dialogue” about Hayne’s future during the week.

There has been speculation the Bulldogs will circle Hayne should he be unsuccessful in transitioning to the NFL, but he is confident of fulfilling his dream. The Eels are yet to officially lodge his release with the NRL to ensure rivals can’t sign him before 2016.

Originally Published Sydney Morning Herald
February 21, 2015
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