The NRL will talk to Jarryd Hayne when he arrives back in as they examine whether or not he should have told his club that he was helping US police with a criminal investigation into an alleged rape.
Hayne arrived in Tel Aviv on Thursday to resume a religious holiday in Israel and made contact with Parramatta, the club he this month agreed to re-join, having been on a flight to the Holy Land when news emerged that a 25-year-old woman had launched a civil action against him in California.
Hayne, 29, has “unequivocally and vehemently” denied the allegation that he raped the woman, called Ms V in lawsuit documents filed with the Santa Clara County Court, in December 2015 when he was playing in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers.
The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office previously concluded that there was not enough evidence to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt and elected not to lay charges against the code switcher. The fact that Hayne is at the centre of a civil action rather than a criminal one leaves the NRL in a difficult position, no matter the outcome in a US court, and officially all League Central have said publicly is that they are monitoring the situation.
However, it is expected Hayne will be interviewed by the integrity unit upon his return to .
Whether or not he should have told his club that he had been co-operating with police inquiries last year is a subject that the NRL is expected to tackle as it examines the timeline around events in the second half of 2016.
The NRL takes a dim view of clubs and, by extension, players who do not alert the governing body to incidents that could bring the game into disrepute.
However, there is a grey area with Hayne as he was never charged, completely denies the claims, and ultimately the criminal case against him was rejected by the DA’s office.
It is unclear whether Hayne had joined the Gold Coast Titans when he was talking to authorities in the US. Ramy Qutami of Madison Marcus Law Firm, who is representing him, declined to comment on Thursday.
However, he had played six matches for the Titans in August and September by the point that the DA’s office decided, on October 25, 2016, not to press ahead with the criminal matter.
Ms V reported the alleged incident in May 2016, the same month that Hayne quit the NFL, saying he wanted to try to make the Fiji rugby sevens team for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
Hayne, who didn’t make Fiji’s final Olympic squad, then signed with the Titans on August 2 and finished off the season with them before playing with the Gold Coast again this year.
His arrival in Tel Aviv was captured by n television crews and showed him accompanied by a small encourage. A minder repeatedly knocked away the microphone as a silent Hayne walked through the airport and out onto the street.
– with Matt Bungard