Jarryd Hayne abandons NFL bid and switches focus to rugby union

Jarryd Hayne, pictured celebrating Australia's victory in the 2013 World Cup final at Old Trafford, wants to play for Fiji at the Rio Olympics

Former rugby league international Jarryd Hayne has abandoned his bid to pursue a career in American football in favour of a switch to rugby union.

The 28-year-old former Parramatta centre or full-back has announced his decision to leave the San Francisco 49ers after one season to take up an offer to join the Fiji rugby sevens team to compete in the Rio Olympics.

"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 a 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."

Hayne stunned the world of rugby league in October 2013 when he quit the sport to try his luck in the NFL and subsequently signed as an undrafted free agent with the 49ers but ended up playing only eight games.

The Sydney-born Hayne, whose father Manoa Thompson had a brief spell with Warrington in 1995-96, represented Fiji at the 2008 World Cup before switching his allegiance and was a member of the Kangaroos team that won the World Cup in England in 2013.

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