NSW hooker Nathan Peats has spoken about his once tense relationship with Parramatta star Jarryd Hayne and his anger at being let go by the Eels during the club’s salary cap crisis.
“We used to clash all the time because when I got to Parramatta, he was the king around then," said Peats, who was a teammate of Hayne’s at Parramatta and Gold Coast.
“I sort of had the attitude of ‘I really don’t care who you are’.
“We used to clash at times a fair bit.”
The Titans hooker also questioned Hayne’s attitude during his time on the Gold Coast.
“I just wish he’d played a little bit better footy up here and enjoyed it a bit more because it didn’t look like he was too happy here last year,’’ Peats said.
“I wish he had enjoyed it more and could have left on a better note with the club and Titans fans.”
But Peats said times had changed and he now liked and respected Hayne.
“When he came up here he had his little daughter and we got along really well,” Peats told the In My Own Words show on sports social platform 20 FOUR.
“He is a good fella. There was a lot of scrutiny about his decision to leave and go to Parramatta.
“If you’re not seeing your daughter enough, then you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
“It’s not like he’s leaving a $500,000 deal to a $1.5 million deal. He’s going from $1.2 million to $500,000.
“He’s sacrificing over half-a-million dollars to go back to where he wants to be.”
Peats left Parramatta in May, 2016, a victim of the club’s immense salary cap breach.
He immediately joined Gold Coast but was crushed by the Eels’ decision to let him go.
“I was pissed off," he said. “I busted my arse for that club, hurt myself playing for the boys.
“Why would you want to get rid of me, why couldn’t you get rid of two other blokes?
“At the time I was filthy. Now looking back, it was a selfish thing to say. Why get rid of three guys just for me to stay.
“They had to get under the salary cap for that season. I went to training that next day and Brad (Arthur, coach) had a chat to me.”
At the time, Peats was living in the same block of units as Eels teammates Junior Paulo and Brad Takairangi.
“That Monday night was pretty emotional,” Peats said.
“I remember just crying on the phone, J (Paulo) crying, they were all just crying.
“I’ve got a good deal now. If I’d have stayed I might not have got such a good deal and I might not have ever played Origin.”
Parramatta officials preferred not to comment.
Peats also opened up about the sacking last year of Titans coach Neil Henry, who fell out with Hayne.
“I felt for Neil," he said.
“Was he the one to leave for Haynesy to stay and then Haynesy ended up leaving?
“If Haynesy was leaving earlier, would Neil have stayed? I’m too sure but everything happens for a reason.”