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Hayne centre of attention against Fiji

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens has challenged Jarryd Hayne to show his spectacular performance in the centres wasn't a one-off at the Rugby League World Cup.
Hayne centre of attention against Fiji
by AAP

By Liam FitzGibbon

LONDON, Nov 21 AAP - Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens has challenged Jarryd Hayne to show his spectacular performance in the centres wasn't a one-off at the Rugby League World Cup.

The Parramatta NRL star started in the unfamiliar position for the first time in green and gold against the United States last week, responding with a brilliant four-try display.

Hayne will again line up at right centre in Saturday's semi-final against Fiji and he could become a long-term option for Australia in the position if his form continues.

Sheens, though, says Hayne faces a much bigger test at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

"That (last week) was just one game and this is a bigger game," Sheens said.

"It's two weeks in a row now he's got to come up and this week he's got to make the right decisions again."

Sheens would not be drawn on whether Hayne could be a long-term option at centre for his country but the coach revealed he always intended playing him there.

Now a specialist fullback for his club, Hayne had previously only ever started on the wing for Australia but former Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart briefly experimented with him in the centres in 2007.

"I spoke to Ricky about it, because I intended to play him centre before we got here," Sheens said.

Hayne said he was enjoying the chance to move closer infield and admitted it would be a strange feeling facing his former nation in a semi-final.

The 25-year-old was part of the Fiji side that reached the last four in 2008 before losing to Australia.

"There's obviously a lot of emotion there with what happened at the last World Cup," Hayne told AAP.

"It was a great experience and I always give credit to Fiji for the time I had there. I loved it and it was a massive eye-opener for me."

The sides are meeting for the second time at this year's tournament, with Australia triumphing 34-2 when they met in a group match at St Helens.




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