Jarryd Hayne fails to land Fiji Olympic rugby sevens selection

By Jesse Reed
Courtesy of USA Today Images

After ditching his NFL dream earlier this year to pursue his Olympic dream, Jarryd Hayne failed to land a spot on Fiji’s rugby sevens squad this summer for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

For Hayne, it was always a stretch that he’d earn a spot on the Olympic team, and he admitted that he “wasn’t ready yet.”

“I had a meeting with Ben to discuss my future with the team and I was informed that my time has ended,” Hayne said, via his Facebook page. “As much as I would have loved to go to Rio, I too knew I wasn’t ready yet.

“I’ve loved every minute of training with the Fiji Rugby 7’s. … This has been an amazing journey for me and a truly humbling experience. I have learnt so much and will never forget my time with this team.”

As far as this relates to his pro football career, Hayne’s comment about not being ready for the Olympic team highlights the fact that NFL playbooks were too much for him to handle. When he made the decision to leave the 49ers he made comments that suggested Chip Kelly’s playbook, in particular, was too overwhelming for the former Aussie Rugby League star.

Last season it was remarkable that Hayne managed to make the 49ers’ roster to open the season. He’d never before attempted to play American football, had never even glanced at an NFL playbook and didn’t know the first thing about what it takes to play the game. He made remarkable plays when he did get his hands on the ball and was a fan favorite.

Appearing in eight games for the 49ers last year, Hayne tallied 52 yards on 17 carries and also caught six passes for 27 yards. He returned eight punts for 76 yards but was benched in that role after some costly fumbles.

It remains to be seen what Hayne’s next step will be. An electric open-field performer in both the NFL and in Australia’s Rugby League, he likely still has a bright future in a professional rugby league.