19 May 2016

Hayne left out of Fiji squad

6:19 am on 19 May 2016

Jarryd Hayne's quest to make the Rio Olympic Games has hit a speedbump after being left out of the initial Fiji squad for this weekend's London Sevens.

Jarryd Hayne

Jarryd Hayne Photo: PHOTOSPORT

After quitting NFL franchise the San Francisco 49ers this week, the former NRL star announced his intention to qualify for the Olympics with the Rugby Sevens' gold-medal favourites.

After going into camp with the team on Monday, the crosscode star missed out on the 12-man squad named on Wednesday by coach Ben Ryan.

However, he is still a chance to turn out in London, with Fiji's final line-up to be named on Friday.

The London Sevens is the last event on the Sevens World Series schedule and, if Hayne does not turn out there, it will prove a big blow to his chances of making the Rio squad.

Should Hayne's Olympic dream fail to eventuate, NRL clubs are lining up to snare his signature.

St George Illawarra, Gold Coast and Newcastle have expressed public interest in snaring the former Parramatta fullback.

Hayne had been heavily linked with the Sydney Roosters, however the Seven Network reported that the club had dropped out of the race for his signature.

Meanwhile Wallabies rugby union coach Michael Cheika won't be chasing Jarryd Hayne, but says he'll happily talk if the code hopper comes a knocking.

The former league star remains eligible to represent Australia as well as Fiji, where he qualifies through his father, former South Sydney and Manly ARL player Manoa Thompson.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika Photo: Photosport

Cheika isn't convinced Hayne necessarily wants to make a full-time switch to rugby.

"He connected with the sevens team perhaps in Sydney, I think, (during a World Series round in February) and he's got that heritage," Cheika said on Fox Sports' Rugby 360 program.

"I knew his dad and he obviously identified with something in their spirit and in their culture and I see him singing with the boys and (enjoying) that spirituality.

"I saw Kane Evans in the rugby league did the same thing, made himself available for the sevens because he identified with that culture and it was good for him as a person.

"I think that's probably something he (Hayne) is feeling as well that no one's taken into account.

"Maybe that's what he wants to do, grow himself as a person, and take that option."

Even if Hayne is serious about a permanent move to the 15-a-side code, Cheika said the former Dally M Medallist would have to make the first move if he wanted to play in Australia.

"It will be a choice for him as to whether he goes to play rugby league or whether he wants to play rugby union," Cheika said.

"If he made the choice that he wanted to play rugby union, then of course we'd be looking to talk to him.

"But, at the end of the day, these are the decisions that individuals make. I think the days of going out chasing are over because it's too hard to do."