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