Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Tietjens uncertain about Hayne switch

Jarryd Hayne's quick switch from NFL to rugby sevens has made Sir Gordon Tietjens uncertain whether he will make the Olympics. Photo / Getty Images
Jarryd Hayne's quick switch from NFL to rugby sevens has made Sir Gordon Tietjens uncertain whether he will make the Olympics. Photo / Getty Images

Kiwi sevens supremo Gordon Tietjens is uncertain if Jarryd Hayne can play sevens.
He does know if Hayne adapts and makes it into Fiji's side for the Olympics it will be a massive achievement.

"It's a tough game sevens rugby, you have to be really conditioned and you can't just go and pull out any players to jump into a sevens team and that's the challenge we have," Tietjens said.

If Hayne was going to make the Olympics he would have to play this weekend's last world series event at Twickenham.

"He is certainly a great athlete. Can he play sevens? I can't answer that."

Tietjens was surprised when he heard about Hayne's switch because sevens was a challenging sport.

He was immensely talented but even for someone with that ability, to come out of rugby league then American football and play sevens and be asked to excel in a short space of time with two and a half months to run to the Olympics, would be a massive story.

"Whether he makes it I don't know, if he plays this weekend then we will certainly know."

Squads for the Olympics are picked in early July and there are still questions for Tietjens about that selection.

Injuries continue to bite into his group and DJ Forbes and Liam Messam were the latest casualties who had gone home.

However Tim Mikkelson was back from injury and NZ was looking to his leadership and game-breaking ability alongside the emerging talent of others like Reiko and Akira Ioane.

Fiji would probably take out the world series but Tietjens said his side could finish second and with the number of injuries and changes he had to make, that was also a strong result. NZ and Fiji had each won three tournaments, the rest had single victories.

The draw for the Olympics had not been done but Great Britain looked like they might be in NZ's pool. Every side would provide challenges because the pressure and intensity had increased this season.

- NZ Herald

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