As the NRL heads into week two of its Finals Series, rugby league has taken another hit after star player Jarryd Hayne was caught on video appearing to hand a $5000 wad of cash to an accused Hells Angels bikie.
News Corp Australia obtained footage of the Titans star associating with bikie and former Titans under-20 player Chris Bloomfield after his side's loss to Brisbane on Friday night. An investigation by the NRL's Integrity Unit will now take place, with the Unit saying it will look into his association with known and accused criminals. The last time Hayne was associated with outlaw bikie gangs was after he was shot at by a member of one following an altercation at a Kings Cross pub.
Smiling for the camera, the Hells Angel standover man says, "Haynesy just gave me five grand," while holding a massive wad of cash. Hayne responds by shrugging his shoulders and saying: "Cash money fam, cash money," and appears to rap with Bloomfield, who was previously convicted of extortion and assault causing bodily harm.
Hayne tore up a multimillion-dollar contract with the Parramatta Eels at the end of 2014 that would have made him the highest-paid player in the history of the sport. Instead choosing to leave for America with nothing but his Christian faith and a dream to make it in the NFL. He made it, playing kick return and running back for the San Francisco 49ers first team, granting him a massive $2 million pay day, and naturally thanked God for it.
But it's has been a turbulent few months for the Hayne brand since he returned to Australia mid-way through the 2016 season.
After his NFL dream abruptly ended, Hayne pursued a spot in the all-conquering Fijian rugby sevens team, in order to fast-track himself to the Rio Olympics. He was quickly drafted into the team, played a few games, created a few headlines and then, to some surprise, wasn't picked in the Olympic squad; a squad that went on to win an incredible gold medal in Rio.
Hayne created another stir when he was rumoured to join the NSW Waratahs after meeting with rugby officials. However, the Waratahs didn't want his signature either, deciding that "quick fix" Hayne didn't fit with the club's current direction.
Finally, after weeks of speculation, Hayne returned to rugby league after signing a deal worth $1.2 million a season to play for the Titans, leaving his Parramatta roots behind. Hayne made it to the finals with the Titans, despite mediocre form on his behalf, and even showed his inner-American along the way, screaming, "This is my house" as he celebrated his last minute winning field goal for Gold Coast against the Tigers.
The NRL's Integrity Unit has been inundated with investigations, with Hayne's the latest in a string of high-profile cases in the space of a month. Broncos centre James Roberts was fined $20,000 for allegedly abusing a woman at a Brisbane hotel. Cronulla and NSW Origin prop Andrew Fifita was revealed to have sported wrist-strapping with the letters "F.K.L" written on it, which is believed to stand for "Free (or For) Kieran Loveridge," the man responsible for the high-profile one-punch killing of Thomas Kelly in Kings Cross in 2012. Last week, Cowboys enforcer Jason Taumalolo was charged by police for egging cars.