Monday May 16, 2016

Jarryd Hayne set to compete with Fiji's superstars in a bid for an Olympic spot

Last night huge news broke as Jarryd Hayne left the NFL, opting to have a crack at the Fiji Sevens team. The former Rugby League star has called time on an NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers, citing the chance of playing in the Olympics as too good to refuse.

Hayne, whose father is Fijian, played rugby league for Fiji in 2008 and recently presented the 7s team their jerseys at the Sydney Sevens in February.

It set the wheels in motion for an unprecedented switch, one that has many scratching their heads, with just one leg of the Sevens World Series left.

“I am retiring from the NFL because the Fiji Rugby Sevens team reached out to me about the opportunity to join the team for the upcoming Olympics, and I simply could not pass that chance up,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“The Olympics has been something I have admired since I was a little boy, and it is an opportunity I feel very similar to me joining the NFL.”

Fiji coach Ben Ryan has confirmed that he has been in talks with Hayne for some time now.

“I’ve had a few conversations with Jarryd and followed his career in the NRL in Australia, in the Bati with Fiji, and more recently with the NFL as a running-back for the 49ers,” said Ryan.

“He got a taste for sevens when he was with the boys in Sydney and that sowed a few seeds, and that has just got bigger.

“I have no promises he is going to make the 12, but we will see how he goes. He will then come into Fijian camp for the Olympic period. It is a huge challenge for Jarryd but if he gets into the squad it is only going to be on form, because he is a blinding rugby player. If he doesn’t make it, is just shows how good this Fijian sevens side is.

“It is a no lose situation for me. It is no lose for Jarryd either, he gets himself into the possibility of being a part of this journey, and the boys are all going to learn off him as well.

He comes in with an ‘A’ but it is up to him to hang onto that, it’s really exciting and really what the Olympics is all about.”

Ryan says that getting the talented squad down to just 12 will be similar to a reality show.

“The camp will be like Britain’s Got Talent or the X Factor, boys are going to get chopped until we get down to 12, it will be like a shootout. All these stars are going to be back, everyone will be fighting hard.

“I have seen a glimpse of it this week, there is no space to play the competition is so high, it’s always at 110 per cent. We are going to have that for six or seven weeks. I need to get that balance right, but I will stay true to my values and pick on form.”


There are many who feel like Hayne’s chances are very slim, such as former Australian Sevens coach Michael O’Connor. He says that adapting to the shortened form of rugby is a huge ask, and one he personally doesn’t feel Hayne will be up to, based mainly on time. 

“A lot of the athletes that [Ryan] has over there, they’ve been in a Sevens program for three or four years and he’s got a squad of 30 or 40 players who, you know, athletically are as good as Jarryd Hayne in my opinion,” O’Connor told ESPN.

“But they’ve been conditioned, they know Sevens, they’ve been playing it and they’ve been preparing for it and for someone to come in at this late hour with two months to go before the Olympics… they’re a successful side as it is.

“I could understand if it was Brazil or a side that was lacking talent, but they’re the world champions. I just can’t get my head around it.

“And that’s the other thing, the game is such an aerobic game. You’ve really got to have an engine on you and you’ve got to go back-to-back. And you’ve got to have that aerobic fitness – the game doesn’t stop. You can’t walk anywhere.

“So to pick that up in two months, just that alone, would be very difficult.”

We’ll keep an eye on his 7s progress and if it doesn’t work out for him, don’t be surprised if he avoids returning to the NRL and instead finds himself in Europe. Toulon anyone?

Former Wallaby Stephen Hoiles discusses the news for


Thanks Ron.

A photo posted by Jarryd Hayne (@jarrydhayne38) on May 15, 2016 at 3:29pm PDT


Related Articles

  • 72 WEEKS AGO

    Part three of the award winning USA 7s documentary...

  • 113 WEEKS AGO

    Table topping Fiji fly past Australia to...

  • 120 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Touching jersey ceremony for young...


Great Tries

  • 1 DAY AGO

    No other player has mastered intercepts like Bryan Habana could

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: French flair lights up Brisbane with EPIC coast-to-coast try


    Watch how Marcus Smith lit up Twickenham on England debut vs USA


    Extended highlights show why Josh Adams could be a Lions Test starter


    Aphelele Fassi: The debut Springbok that could change Warren Gatland's Lions selection

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Lewis Ludlow received a four match ban for this knee to the face

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Controversial Marika Koroibete red card not upheld

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Wallabies will contest controversial red card after French player 'milked it'

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Wallabies fans raging after questionable early red card for Marika Koroibete

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Sharks scrum half suspended after that silly elbow against the British & Irish Lions

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 10 HOURS AGO

    Awesome Daly kicking montage shows just how deadly his left boot really is

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Players channel inner Lebron with incredible 'basketball' passes

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Damian McKenzie's outstanding try-saving tackle

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: TEN TRIES between 3 hookers in one weekend


    WATCH: The moment Marcus Smith found out about his Lions call up

View All



    New compilation of rare Nigel Owens footage is comedy gold


    The moment Ellis Genge soaks Ugo Monye live on TV is simply priceless


    WATCH: Inside the Quins changing rooms after winning AWESOME Prem final


    'I don't know what I'm saying!', Joe Marler's brilliant interview after EPIC Prem win


    Joe Marler elated in special interview as fans return to The Stoop

View All


  • 38 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 75 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 75 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 75 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 75 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 1 DAY AGO

    A deeper look at Jason Robinson's incredible path to the top

  • 21 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 28 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 34 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

View All