Jarryd Hayne may have played his last game at fullback after new Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan revealed he is considering permanently shifting the enigmatic star into the halves.
Brennan will be tasked with consistently getting the best out of Hayne after replacing Neil Henry as Titans coach. It is an assignment that has confounded a multitude of clipboard holders in the past decade, although Brennan is confident he can help the former Eels fullback regain top form.
Hayne has started in the No.6 jersey only a handful of times in his NRL career, although Fiji coach Mick Potter will pitch him in at five-eighth for the World Cup. However, Hayne could strike up a halves partnership with young gun Ash Taylor in the first big call of Brennan's NRL coaching career.
"The more Jarryd gets the ball in his hands, the better he's going to be," Brennan told Fairfax Media.
"Whether that's at six or one, that's something I'll talk to Jarryd about.
"I take on board player's input. I'm not a dictator who will say 'This is where you're going to play and I don't care about your say, this is what we're going to do'.
"That's not how I operate. I'm flexible with the players I've got ... it's about what's best for the team.”
“Getting the ball in Jarryd's hands as many times as we can will be good for the team. He's a talent, there's no doubt about that."
Darren Lockyer famously made the switch from fullback to five-eighth with such devastating effect that he is being touted as a potential Immortal. Matt Moylan is a more recent example of a player making the transition from custodian to pivot.
"[Hayne] is playing there for Fiji at the moment," Brennan said. "In this day and age, the good fullbacks make good five-eighths.
"Moylan is an example of that. I've got no doubt Darius Boyd would make a good six if he switched to the five-eighth position.
"Jarryd can do it and obviously Locky did it better than anyone. Obviously Jarryd fits that mould where he can do special things. If fullback or five-eighth is his spot, it's all about whatever gets the best out of Jarryd for the team. That's what I'll look at."
Hayne's much-publicised feud with Henry eventually led to the latter being sacked with a year left on his contract. Brennan, a former policeman, was unconcerned about Hayne's reputation for being difficult to manage.
"It's a case of getting to know Jarryd, sitting down with him and finding out what makes him tick away from football," Brennan said.
"That's my primary concern as a coach – I care about players away from football more than I do on the field.
"If they're happy and content off the field, they'll play good footy for you. Everyone is an individual and that's what I learnt in the police – everyone comes from different backgrounds, different culture, different upbringings.”
"You can't treat everyone the same, we're all different. It's important you treat people differently. Not when it comes to non-negotiables – anything that affects the Titans brand is a non-negotiable.
"You get them prepared for a game or at training, people react differently. There are your fast-twitch beasts and your slow ones. You've got to work out how to get the best out of each individual.
“It's like getting a front-rower to catch a ball above their head for kicks across to the corners – there's no use doing that because you don't need to be doing that.
"You identify your player, their talents and how to get the best out of them. Jarryd fits that criteria."