Dally M medal winner Jarryd Hayne has officially quit the NRL to pursue a career playing in the NFL over in the United States.
In a move that will be talked about for years to come, the Parramatta star looks set to sign with a NFL franchise just six months after leading NSW Origin to their first victory in nine years. Hayne spent last month in America visiting the Seattle Seahawks and was shown around their facilities, so they could be the odds on favourite to sign the two-time NRL all star.
In a letter he wrote to the Parramatta fans, he explained his immediate decision to leave the NRL.
“Today I can officially announce that I will be heading to the United States to pursue an opportunity to play American Football… It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the NFL, and at my age, this is my one and only chance at having a crack at playing there.”
At a press conference this morning, Hayne was emotional about a decision he had previously lacked the courage to make.
“I am passionate about the challenge that lies ahead as an athlete and as a person, it was the hardest decision I have ever had to make in my life,” he said.
“For me to grow as an athlete and a person it is a decision I had to make.
“Emotion was keeping me in rugby league, I didn’t feel like it was challenging in the way I need to be challenged.”
Hayne will depart for the United States with immediate effect, ending his 176-game career with the Parramatta Eels. – Lachlan Brunton
Top photo from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trades’ Flickr photostream.