Jar­ryd Hayne joins 7s team in Lon­don

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - JUS­TINE MAN­NAN jus­tine.man­nan@fi­jisun.com.fj

For­mer Na­tional Rugby League (NRL) star and San Fran­cisco 49ers run­ning back Jar­ryd Haynes re­tired from the Na­tional Foot­ball League (NFL) scene yes­ter­day to join the Voda­fone Fi­jian 7s team.

The 28-year-old flew to Lon­don last night to meet with the Ben Ryan­coached side for the last leg of the World Sevens Se­ries in Lon­don this week­end. With the side al­ready show­cas­ing the best of over­seas-based play­ers Samisoni Viriviri, Waisea Nay­a­calevu, Leone Nakarawa, Jo­sua Tuisova and Semi Ku­natani who have all made an im­me­di­ate im­pact dur­ing the Paris 7s, Haynes in­clu­sion will make se­lec­tion even tougher for the fi­nal leg. Ryan be­lieves Haynes got a taste for the sevens scene when he met the team in Aus­tralia dur­ing the Syd­ney 7s in Fe­bru­ary. “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,” Ryan told World Rugby. “He has had a chat with the 49ers and his agent, and I have with ev­ery­body else to make sure he is on our ac­cred­i­ta­tion list and to en­sure he ticks our boxes, he is a Fi­jian pass­port holder, all those sorts of things.” While Haynes in­clu­sion in the team may be promis­ing with an eye on the Rio Olympics in Brazil in Au­gust, Ryan is adamant that his presence does not mean he will play for the side in Lon­don and at the Olympics

Just like ev­ery­one else, he will need to go through the proper train­ing and will need to prove that he de­serves a spot. “I have no prom­ises he is go­ing to make the 12, but we will see how he goes,” he said. “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 a no lose sit­u­a­tion 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.

“It’s like the over­seas boys in Paris. I am check­ing their tech­nique is right at the break­down, it keeps me checked as well so I like bring­ing new play­ers in. It doesn’t make my life any eas­ier but for good rea­sons it is for us all to get bet­ter.” Mean­while, Haynes said in a state­ment that he wants to pur­sue his child­hood dream of par­tic­i­pat­ing at an Olympic event. “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,” Haynes said. “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 is in Pool B with Aus­tralia, Eng­land and Wales.

Edited by Osea Bola

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Jar­ryd Hayne with the Voda­fone Fi­jian 7s team dur­ing the Syd­ney 7s in Fe­bru­ary.

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