Sport Rugby League Titans coach Neil Henry never wanted to sign Jarryd Hayne

Titans coach Neil Henry never wanted to sign Jarryd Hayne

Jarryd Hayne and Neil Henry
Jarryd Hayne and Titans coach Neil Henry last year after the code-hopper signed a two-year deal. Photo: AAP
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Besieged Gold Coast coach Neil Henry has not denied claims he did not want the Titans to sign NRL star Jarryd Hayne.

Henry is feeling the heat, with the Titans losing a major sponsor after their woeful 54-0 last-round home defeat to Brisbane.

The club’s decision to sign Hayne on a lucrative multi-year deal has also come under intense scrutiny. The Titans’ rout by the Broncos capped a dreadful run that ensured they missed the finals for another year.

And Henry did not dismiss speculation it was the Titans’ board – not him – who wanted to sign Hayne.

Asked whether it was true he did not want to recruit him, Henry said: “To sign high-profile players is a collective decision and I will leave it at that.

“It’s not for me to comment on how we go about how we sign any player really – I will leave it at that.”

Henry accepted his future would be questioned after their Brisbane capitulation preceded the loss of a major jersey sponsor.

Aquis will cut ties with the Titans at season’s end, amid amid reports it had been contracted to Gold Coast until 2021.

“Things fall with the head coach. That is the nature of the game and I accept that,” Henry said.

“But we all agree that it was not a good performance at all. We accept that and now we have to react to it.”

Henry was unfazed by rumours over his future.

“That is speculation. There has to be something to talk about,” he said.

“It comes with the territory but I am determined to move on and we play some decent football.

“We need to resurrect ourselves and prove to ourselves we are a better team than that.”

Henry insisted Aquis’ decision was not related to the woeful last-round loss.

“It’s disappointing but Aquis always had that option in their deal,” he said.

“You could read into it and say it is performance (related) but I have been assured it wasn’t.

“They made a commercial decision a while ago.”

Meanwhile, prop Brenton Lawrence will return to Gold Coast after signing a two-season deal with the Titans from 2018.

Lawrence, 32, looks set to wind down his career at the club where it all began for the Manly forward.

He debuted at the Titans in 2011, playing 18 games before linking in 2013 with the Sea Eagles.