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Hayne: Serevi And Ryder Were My Idols

Watching the great Waisale Serevi and William Ryder play inspired Jarryd Hayne to play sevens rugby. “I think with the Olympics coming up, and also the curiosity to playing the
22 May 2016 11:10
Hayne: Serevi And Ryder Were My Idols

Watching the great Waisale Serevi and William Ryder play inspired Jarryd Hayne to play sevens rugby.

“I think with the Olympics coming up, and also the curiosity to playing the game, being half Fijian it (rugby sevens) is something I’ve followed since I was a kid,” Hayne told World Rugby.

“My dad is Fijian and we watched a lot of Serevi games, and William Ryder was a big idol of mine. I have always dreamt about playing sevens for Fiji and I’ve been given the opportunity.

“It is a team that plays with a lot of spirit and a lot of faith. You don’t really see that in teams around the globe.

“I’ve played for many different teams at the highest level and Fiji is a special nation and a special country to play for.”

With much talk surrounding Hayne since his move from the San Francisco 49ers to join up with the series leaders Fiji, he and Masivesi Dakuwaqa come in as a late injury replacements for playmaker Vatemo Ravouvou and Pio Tuwai who were ruled out by the tournament team doctor.

The Vodafone Fijians make three changes from the side that lost to Samoa in the final of the Paris Sevens. They need just eight points to claim the series title which they would secure by booking their place in the Cup quarter-finals.

“We always had a plan to mix things up. We got to this point as a team, psychologists talk about this, and we were at a point where I just saw a little bit of halting, we weren’t still picking it up. I thought the boys needed a bit of added competition and that came from France, and it has also come from San Francisco,” said Vodafone Fijian 7s head coach Ben Ryan.

“Jarryd is our latest, he has trained well, (it’s a) massive learning curve for him but he has settled in well and he is used to that Fijian side of things off the field when he was with Fiji Bati so that hasn’t been an issue at all. He brings a professionalism obviously, and we already have that. We have boys that are at that level where they are self-reliant, self-sufficient and I trust all of them. But he comes in from a different angle, he has a great background in rugby league and another professional sport at the highest level.”

Ryan said in attack Hayne is comfortable on the ball and has good spatial awareness and footwork.

“In defence he is a good tackler. It is the shape in defence, the breakdown skills, the finer arts and of course the engine, he is not going to have the same fitness as our boys have got but he’s had a good week with us,” he added.

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