SPORTS

Accusation Pains Hayne

  Jarryd Hayne is coping and learning fast after the first week of training with the Vodafone Fijian 7s squad at the Uprising Beach Resort in Pacific Harbour. And the
20 Jun 2016 09:20
Accusation Pains Hayne
From Left: Jarryd Hayne, Div Damodar-Group CEO at Damodar Group of Companies, Osea Kolinisau-Team Captain of Vodafone Fijian 7s team Photo:Div Damodar

 

Jarryd Hayne is coping and learning fast after the first week of training with the Vodafone Fijian 7s squad at the Uprising Beach Resort in Pacific Harbour.

And the former San Francisco 49ers running back, Australian Kangaroos, Fijian Bati and two-time Dally M medallist is “really upset” about accusations that he was stealing the Olympic dream from battling locals.

“The idea that I was taking jobs from locals coming down from their villages to train, it got to me,’’ Hayne told The Daily Telegraph.

“Really upset me. People need to understand that half of this squad plays in Europe. And the other half, they’ve been there and are coming back for these Olympics.

“So, yes, there are some local boys involved. But this is professional sport. And to have people create a controversy that isn’t true, it was upsetting.”

Hayne said the idea of him playing 7s rugby was first broached 14 months ago, when Fiji made an approach via his father, Manoa Thompson.

“Through dad, they asked if I wanted to try out for the Olympics,” the Fiji Airways ambassador said.

“I told them ‘ah, sorry, but I’m heading to the NFL’. And they said that was okay. Said they wouldn’t even need to see me for a year or so. They just suggested I keep the offer in mind.”

And so he did.

“But people get so caught up in the strategy of it all. Saying you have to go here for this reason, or there for that reason. But what I want is an adventure. And the NFL, it was doing that.

“Now I’m here. And I know it’s a big ask. I know I may not get to the Olympics. I’ll just put my head down and see how I go.”

Hayne and Vodafone Fijian 7s skipper Osea Kolinisau were watching the second round of the 2016 Pacific Nations Cup match between the Vodafone Flying Fijians and Samoa at the ANZ Stadium in Suva last Saturday.

 

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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