Hayne-affect boosting grassroots gridiron

Jarryd Hayne is inspiring a generation of budding young gridiron players.
Jarryd Hayne is inspiring a generation of budding young gridiron players. Doug Pensinger

QUEENSLAND and Australian gridiron coach Ben Sinapati says the nation's fascination with Jarryd Hayne is benefiting the sport at grassroots levels.

Sinapati, the Queensland Sun Devils' and Australian Outback defensive line coach, who is also head coach of the Bayside Ravens in the Brisbane competition, said the former NRL star had inspired a generation of budding young gridiron players.

"For anybody who knows the game, what he's achieved is just huge," Sinapati told APN.

"People can't really comprehend the enormity of what he's achieved.

"The past couple of weeks we've had a lot of new inquiries off the back of Jarryd Hayne.

"We've actually had a few people turn up to try it out. That's good for the sport overall."

Surprisingly though, there is one man who still holds more influence at the Ravens, one of the top-rated clubs in the Gridiron Queensland competition.

That is former Raven and current Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle, Brisbane-raised Jesse "Tha Monstar" Williams.

Williams has been placed on the Seahawks' 'non-football illness reserve list' after having surgery for kidney cancer in the off-season.

"In Bird Town (the Ravens) the bigger influence is still Jesse Williams. I guess because it's closer to home for us," Sinapati said.

"He has a huge influence on the club."

Topics:  american football gridiron jarryd hayne

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