Jarryd Hayne has given up his running back position for the San Francisco 49ers. He retired for a chance to compete in Rio Olympics 2016.
The 28-year old first played for Australian professional rugby with the Parramatta Eels 10 years ago. During his first year, he was selected as Parrammatta Eels season’s rookie of the year. He then went on to have a flourishing ten-year rugby career. In 2010, he was part of Australia’s ANZAC test against New Zealand.
His first international foray however, was with Fiji in the 2008 World Cup. Coming from Fijian father and an Australian mother, Jarryd Hayne has enjoyed representing both his parents’ countries in international leagues.
Recently, he was contacted to play for the Fiji rugby union sevens team in the Rio Olympics 2016. After said contact, he lost no time in giving up NFL career that had only lasted for a year. During his 1-year stint for San Francisco 49ers, he appeared in 8 games and 17 carries for 52 yards.
“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,” Hayne said in his official retirement statement.
“The Olympics has been something I have admired since I was a little boy, and it is an opportunity I feel very similar to me joining the NFL,” he added.
The announcement was made last Sunday, according to The Guardian.
49ers general manager Trent Baalke said they were behind Hayne’s decision and fully support him and his dream of competing in the Olympics.
After his Rio Olympics stint, Hayne’s future is still yet to be determined. However, Hayne has previously said that if he ever goes back to playing professional rugby, he will go back playing for the Parramatta Eels.