Jarryd Hayne's explanation for choosing Fiji over Australia has been shot to pieces.

The 27-year-old shocked fans around the world when he announced his immediate retirement from the NFL in order to chase a spot on the Fiji Rugby Sevens team for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, beginning August 5.

The former San Francisco 49ers running back cited the fact that the Fiji Sevens team approached him as the main reason for his decision to link up with them in London.

When asked why he hadn't opted to trial for the Aussie squad, he simply replied:
"Because they didn't ask me."


On the contrary, they did.

Speculation around Hayne's potential to play sevens has been rife since late 2014 when the former Parramatta Eel announced his intention to play in the NFL.

At the time, former Australian Sevens coach Geraint John left an open invitation to Hayne in case his NFL dream didn't work out - and he couldn't have expressed more interest in the Hayne Plane if he tried.

"If he doesn't make it in NFL, his next port of call should be Narrabeen (the Australian sevens headquarters)," John told the Daily Telegraph.

"If you want another new challenge, come to sevens and try the Olympic challenge. It's right on your doorstep."

Jarryd Hayne is switching codes for the second time. Photo / Getty
Jarryd Hayne is switching codes for the second time. Photo / Getty

John went on to praise Hayne's decision to move to the United States and tried to sell the Sevens opportunity even harder.

"He's getting out of that comfort zone, I thought it was an excellent comment that he made," John said.

"He is going over there to give it a go and good on him. He has put his reputation on the line there, he's going to a different sport and try it out. It won't be easy, and he knows that.


"But let me say this: if people want a challenge, rugby sevens fits the bill. It is an incredibly challenging sport, and you travel to nine or 10 parts of the world, play in 40-50,000 seat stadiums, it is played worldwide, and it is played in the Olympics.

"There are not many football sports that can get you to the Olympics. Rugby 15s can't get you there, rugby league can't get you there, AFL can't get you there.

"But rugby sevens is in the Olympics, and if elite athletes like Jarryd want new challenges, we'd be happy to have them along."

John seemed to think Hayne would fit in perfectly with the Aussie set-up, and would have potentially been in line for the Rio squad in the green and gold.

"There is a lot of space for guys who can beat people like that, who can attract defenders and beat defenders," he said.

"If you look at a player of (Hayne's) calibre, what he can actually bring: he has that x-factor and the skills are easily transferable. A rugby league player would find it a lot easier to move into sevens than 15s. It's a totally unique game."


If that's not an offer to play sevens for Australia, there will never be one clear enough to get Hayne over the line.

Granted John is no longer involved in the Australian set-up, having left mid-2015.

However, with such an exciting pedigree on offer, there's no doubt new coach Andy Friend would have been just a little intrigued.

He simply chose Fiji over Australia.


Jarryd Hayne's Olympic dream will not come cheap.


The price of his potential success with the Fiji Rugby Sevens team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is the cruel ruination of a teammate's Olympic dream.

Hayne is in London with his Fiji teammates preparing for this weekend's final round of the Sevens World Series.

His switch means one member of the Sevens World Series championship-winning Fiji team will miss out - if Hayne is selected.

That is the most disappointing consequence of Hayne's new dream, according to NRL legend Petero Civoniceva and dual international Wendell Sailor.

Wallabies great Greg Martin also suggested Hayne's decision to try and force his way into the Fiji side is in poor taste.

"These boys are on $25,000 a year and along comes Jarryd Hayne on his half a million-a-year, or whatever he was on in the NFL, and takes their spot," Martin told Triple M Brisbane's Marto and Ed Kavalee for Breakfast.


Martin also said it is impossible for Hayne to learn the game well enough to be able to make an impact for Fiji as soon as the Olympics.

"It's not possible, I'm saying," he said.

"He's got one week to get his head around the best team on the planet - the gold medal favourites."

Jarryd Hayne represented Fiji at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. Photo / Getty
Jarryd Hayne represented Fiji at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. Photo / Getty

Civoniceva said Fiji players have worked tirelessly for years to earn their spot in the 12-man Olympics squad.

"No doubt there will a disappointed player that misses out if he is to make the final cut," Civoniceva told Triple M.

"It's a very, very strong Fiji Sevens outfit. They are at the top of the world rankings at the moment. Only 12 players will be selected for that Rio squad to contest the Olympics.


"It's tough, it's very tough but I guess that's sport.

"There's always going to be players that will miss out, but I think for these guys that have come so far throughout all of the tournaments across the world trying to prove themselves to be able to be picked for Rio, no doubt it's going to be very disappointing for one of those players."

Sailor said he has huge sympathy for the player that is dropped from selection to accommodate Hayne.

"I just feel a bit for the person who misses out because of Jarryd Hayne," Sailor said.

"I'm not going to write him off, but jeez, there's a player who is going to miss out on a position because of Jarryd Hayne and my son Tristan made the point to me. He said 'I don't agree with him just going over and playing rugby - what about the guy who has played for the last year or two'".

"Maybe he won't get a game."