Supercoach Wayne Bennett has urged the NRL to take advantage of the publicity surrounding Jarryd Hayne’s NFL efforts to revisit their American experiment.
Bennett has been involved in two of rugby league’s incursions into the USA.
The seven-times premiership winner was coach of Queensland when a State of Origin fixture was taken to Los Angeles in 1987 and headed up the Kangaroos in a 2004 fixture against the Tomahawks in Philadelphia.
Given the spotlight on Hayne’s efforts so far with the San Franscisco 49ers have shone on the NRL, Bennett said the opportunity was there for rugby league to take advantage. As long as it was done right.
“Obviously he (Hayne) is getting a lot of publicity and we are all pleased for him and he is one of ours. So it is something to get excited about to see him doing so well,” Bennett said on Wednesday.
“They will know more about rugby league now than they ever did and taking a few games over there going forward probably wouldn’t hurt, but it probably needs more than a couple of games.
“Unless we are going to put a plan into it and support it, it is not going to happen. I think we should, but that is a decision for the administrators.”
The Broncos had been in talks with Penrith to play a post-season fixture this year in Hawaii, but those plans have fallen through. However Bennett said it might happen next year.
“I’m not disappointed (it was called off). I think we can do it in the pre-season,” Bennett said.
“I think it is a good idea. America is a huge market and they love the body contact sports.
“(But) It is a waste of time us going there unless we are going to put some resources into it.”