Rugby: Hayne's Fijian sevens experience 'humbling'

Jarryd Hayne celebrates winning the HSBC World Sevens Series with Fiji in London last month. Photo / Getty Images
Jarryd Hayne celebrates winning the HSBC World Sevens Series with Fiji in London last month. Photo / Getty Images

Jarryd Hayne's Fijian getaway has been a little less relaxing than many visitors, thrust straight into a brutal training regime in his first camp with the national sevens side.

The code hopper has only a few previous weeks to get himself up to scratch with the fitness levels required in the shorter format and win a place Fiji's sevens squad for the Olympics

And after arriving in the country on Monday, that involved a steady diet of conditioning and cardio in training camp, with Fiji coach Ben Ryan having publicly expressed his displeasure with some players' fitness levels.

Hayne - Sydney-born but with a Fijian father - had been training in Sydney with former Parramatta Eels teammate Tim Mannah but nothing could prepare him for what life in the islands would be like.

"It's been fun so far but the training has been intense and it's only going to get harder," said Hayne, announced today as an ambassador for Fiji Airways.

"It's going to be more physically demanding than mental, with the amount of running we're going to be doing. It's a challenge in itself and I'll just have to wait and see whether I can make it."

Hayne was confident in his capability of adapting to sevens, having proven himself a quick learner when with the San Francisco 49ers last year.

But after opting to chase another challenge following a year in billion-dollar industry that is the NFL, the 28-year-old said his new career move required a different kind of adjustment.

"That was part of the reason I came back - humbling myself and, being around the guys, being humbled. You go from facilities where you have everything at your beck and call to facilities like this. That's obviously very humbling but the hard work is all that matter."

Hayne has already endured a humbling introduction to the sport, playing limited minutes at his first event in the London Sevens.

And with Fiji having claimed the world series title, competition for places was certainly fierce.

"Not being there for the majority of the tournaments was obviously tough and I have to learn pretty quick," Hayne said.

"But, as you saw last year, I was able to learn very quick and was able to make the team. This is another challenge."

Hayne faced a different type of challenge altogether when attempting to lure his former 49ers teammates down to the Pacific Islands, with Fiji Airways tonight beginning a direct route from Nadi to San Francisco.

While many were interested in what Hayne's homeland was like, getting Americans out of America was easier said than done.

"Americans don't really travel that much but it's good for them to come and explore different cultures, and I've got no doubt that they'd enjoy it."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 06 Dec 2016 17:04:12 Processing Time: 513ms