The former representative superstar will remain with the club until at least the end of the 2018 NRL season, after trying his hand at the NFL in the US and Rugby Sevens for Fiji since departing Parramatta in 2014.
“Not in my wildest dreams I ever thought I would be up on the Gold Coast,” Hayne said.
The former NSW and Australian representative had previously committed to a “lifetime deal” with Parramatta when he left.
He said the decision not to return to the Eels was a hard one but he had still not received a formal offer from the club, which had been destabilised by the salary cap scandal, and needed to make a decision.
“A part of me is sad because I’m not going to go back to the club that I grew up with and loved as a kid,” he said.
“At the end of the day I wanted to play footy this year.
“The way that the board is – the way things have gone this year – couldn’t get something done… it’s sad and it hurts me just as much as I know it hurts the fans down there.”
Gold Coast coach Neil Henry hailed the signing as a significant boost for the club.
“We all know what a talent he is,” Henry said.
“I know that our players are excited to be able to welcome him to the club and, more importantly, engage with him and see him on the footy field performing in the Titans jumper.”
Titans CEO Graham Annesley said he was expecting a massive crowd a Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday to see Hayne’s club debut.
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