Jarryd Hayne has ended his illustrious one season entry into the world of NFL with the announcement that he is leaving the San Francisco 49ers to return to rugby. He’s joining the Fiji national rugby sevens team to compete in the Rio Olympics.
“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.
Hayne’s surprise decision to enter the NFL dominated headlines last year, and we were mighty chuffed as a nation when he was signed as an undrafted free agent with the 49ers in March 2015. He ended up playing eight games and registered 17 carries for 52 yards along with 6 receptions for 27 yards.
Despite the big decision to drop his American dreams, Hayne isn’t actually guaranteed a slot in the Fiji Rugby Sevens. “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,” said coach Ben Ryan. “If he doesn’t make it, is just shows how good this Fijian sevens side is.”
You can read Hayne’s lengthy statement/shout-out session on the 49ers website HERE. “I am especially grateful to the strength and conditioning coaches, trainers and medical staff, equipment guys, public relations crew, chefs, logistics, and merchandise staff for their countless hours helping me in many different ways, so I could focus on football.” Everyone gets a yell.
The Hayne Plane flies on.
Photo: Getty Images / Mark Kolbe.