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Sandow impresses Hayne in Eels' pre-season

Chris Sandow is back and, according to Parramatta teammate Jarryd Hayne, he's firing on all cylinders.
Sandow impresses Hayne in Eels' pre-season
by AAP

By Roje Adaimy

SYDNEY, Jan 15 AAP - Chris Sandow is back and, according to Parramatta teammate Jarryd Hayne, he's firing on all cylinders.

The Eels halfback missed the end of last season after checking into a rehabilitation clinic at the NRL club's request to help deal with a gambling problem.

In a bid to get his faltering first-grade career back on track under new coach Brad Arthur, Sandow was among the first group of players to begin pre-season training last November.

And it seems to be working.

Hayne, who only rejoined his teammates on Monday following his World Cup duties, nominated the pint-sized playmaker as an early standout.

"He was playing pretty good yesterday," Hayne said on Wednesday.

"We had a two-hour skills session ... and he was running amok - just laughing, screaming, carrying on as he does."

Asked whether he expected the former South Sydney halfback to slip back into the No.7 jumper this season, Hayne said that would be up to Arthur.

"It's pre-season, so everyone's everywhere at the moment," he said.

Hayne admitted it would take some time for his new-look Eels to gel as a team, given the number of fresh faces including Corey Norman, Will Hopoate and Nathan Peats.

"We're definitely a young team," he said.

"With a young team it's a bit quieter; probably louder off the park, but when we get on the field it's a bit quiet.

"But I think that's something that will come with getting to know people as well. There's a lot of new faces that have come in and when you're not comfortable with someone you don't talk as much.

"But that's just timing and that will come. We understand that. As long as we're training hard and doing the things we need to do, everything will click."

The gifted utility will return to fullback in 2014, with the likes of Liam Foran, Norman Luke Kelly and Sandow to fight it out in the halves.

While the new combinations look promising, Hayne said he getting excited just yet.

"It's obviously good to get people in new positions but it doesn't mean much when you don't gel together.

"That's the thing I'm focusing on at the moment ... (and) that's when it's going to excite us, because that's what's going to win us games."




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