Hayne sandwiched in NRL double-blow
THE two NRL clubs offering lifelines to Jarryd Hayne have reportedly cooled their interest in the uncontracted star amid revelations he is the subject of a police investigation into allegations of sexual assault.
Hayne, who is without an NRL club for next season, is being investigated by the NSW Sex Crimes Squad following an incident on grand final night, according to multiple reports.
He has not been arrested or charged.
Hayne's hopes of striking a deal with St George Illawarra or Parramatta for the 2019 season have taken a hit with reports both clubs are preparing to abandon their contract discussions with the 30-year-old.
The Daily Telegraph reports Hayne may have played his last game in the NRL.
Hayne turned towards the Dragons after reportedly being informed by the Eels the club had only $200,000 left in its cap for next year.
The Sydney Morning Herald now reports the Dragons' interest in Hayne has also cooled in recent days.
According to reports, the Dragons had offered speedster Matt Dufty to rival clubs in a bid to find extra cap room to squeeze Hayne into their books for next year.
The club denied this through a club video on Friday that featured Dufty telling Dragons fans he would be staying at the club next year.
The 22-year-old Dufty has been told his spot is safe after returning to pre-season training earlier than scheduled last week.
"The speculation and misinformation surrounding Matt's future has been disappointing," Dragons recruitment manager Ian Millward said.
"Matt is contracted for 2019 and will definitely be a part of our squad next year, there has never been any internal discussion that suggested otherwise."
It was believed that Dufty was poised to be offloaded to make salary cap room for Hayne.
Parramatta are under salary cap pressure and must release players if they're to meet Hayne's asking price.
The move doesn't entirely spell the end of the Dragons' pursuit of Hayne, with reports utility Kurt Mann could still be released to Newcastle.
After debuting in late 2017, Dufty played all 26 of the Dragons' matches this year and nailed down the Red V No.1 jumper.
He is off contract at the end of the 2019 season.
"The club reassured me that if anything was going to happen, they'd let me know before it came out in the papers which is good because I've got a good relationship with the people at the club," Dufty said.
"I'm looking forward to ripping in for the staff and the boys."
Meanwhile, Hayne's other career option of moving to play franchise rugby in France could also be impacted by the unsubstantiated allegations under investigation.
Fairfax Media reports if Hayne were to be charged he could potentially have any overseas visa confiscated and forced to remain in Australia.
News of the latest unsubstantiated allegations has quickly found its way to the US, where Hayne is locked in civil court proceedings.
An American woman claimed she was raped by Hayne after they met at a bar while he was playing for the San Francisco 49ers NFL team in 2015. She also said she was a virgin at the time.
"We don't know enough about the allegations at this point but we will be following the matter closely as the investigation develops," said John Clune, the American lawyer for the alleged Californian victim, known only as JV.
Hayne has strongly denied JV's claims and said they "willingly engaged in sexual interaction that did not include sexual intercourse".
San Jose police investigated her allegations and declined to charge Hayne.
- with AAP