Jarryd Hayne quits NFL for Fiji Sevens Olympic dream
FORMER NRL star Jarryd Hayne has quit the San Francisco 49ers to chase an Olympic dream with the Fiji sevens team.
The 49ers announced the loss of Hayne early Monday morning AEST.
Fiji are in the top spot in the 2015-16 world series despite finishing as runners-up to Samoa at the Paris Sevens.
Fox Sports is reporting Hayne will join the Fiji team in London on Monday ahead of the London Sevens this weekend.
It will mark the final world series tournament before the Rio Olympics.
In a statement on his departure, released by the 49ers, Hayne said, "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".
Read the full statement below:
I'd like to thank Jed and the entire York family for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my dream of playing in the National Football League.
I also want to thank Trent and his staff, as well as Jim Tomsula, Tom Rathman and the other coaches who invested in me to make this dream a reality.
I'd also like to thank Coach Kelly for the opportunity to come back this year. The support and understanding from the 49ers organization was unbelievable when I let them know about my decision to pursue another dream. The past 12 months with the San Francisco 49ers have been absolutely incredible.
I could not have predicted how far I have come as an NFL player. To not only be able to play in a game but also say that I started a game in the NFL is something that I will remember for a lifetime.
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.
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.
The 49ers organization has been incredibly supportive throughout my journey and I cannot thank them and the support staff enough.
I am especially grateful to the strength and conditioning coaches, trainers and medical staff, equipment guys, public relations crew, chefs, logistics, and merchandise staff for their countless hours helping me in many different ways, so I could focus on football.
Thank you to the fans from down under, as well as those around the world, who stood behind me and supported me along this amazing journey.
I also want to thank the boys, especially my running back brothers, for their help and support in my transition to the NFL. I wish the team nothing but the best for the upcoming season.
Last but not least, I would like to thank the 49ers Faithful for your unwavering support.
From day one you have always been in my corner and I can't thank you enough for the love you've shown for the kid from down under.
Signing off, your mate, number 38.