Jarryd Hayne is a rugby league superstar. Rookie of the year in 2006, and Dally M Player of the year in 2009. The 2014 season was his best, with another Player of the Year award, the highest number of tries and player of the series in New South Wales State of Origin series triumph. At just 26 years of age, Hayne is a player of rare and ubiquitous talent who has achieved everything in the game except for a premiership with the only NRL club he has played for: the Parramatta Eels. With the signing of a new contract, he was set to become the highest paid player in the game.
Now he has quit rugby league, and is heading to the United States to have a crack at American Football. He has his sights set on playing in the NFL, and who could deny that such prodigious talent will not be as highly prized in the US as it is here. It's a huge shock for the rugby league community and a massive risk for Hayne personally, but I say good luck to him.
Hayne said in the press conference that his goal was to become a professional rugby league player so he could buy his mum a house. He said he had achieved that, and everything since had been icing on the cake. It is time, he said, for a new challenge.
Thanks for entertaining us Jarryd, and all the best with the pursuit of your dreams. When you are ready, come back to us and we will welcome you with open arms. Champion.