21 May 2016

Hayne-plane takes flight for Fiji

6:50 am on 21 May 2016

Former rugby league and NFL player Jarryd Hayne will make his Sevens debut for Fiji after being called into the squad as a late injury replacement for this weekend's World Series final round in London.

Fiji's Jarryd Hayne with captain Osea Kolinisau at training in London.

Fiji's Jarryd Hayne with captain Osea Kolinisau at training in London. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Seras Lima

There's been plenty of talk and speculation about Hayne since his move from the San Francisco 49ers to join up with the series leaders this week, he comes in alongside Masivesi Dakuwaqa, replacing Vatemo Ravouvou and Pio Tuwai who were ruled out.

Fiji, who make three changes from the side that lost to Samoa in the final of the Paris Sevens, need just eight points to claim the series title, which they would secure by booking their place in the Cup quarter-finals on day one.

"I think with the Olympics coming up, and also the curiosity to playing the game, being half Fijian it (rugby sevens) is something I've followed since I was a kid," said Hayne.

"My Dad is Fijian and we watched a lot of Serevi games, and William Ryder was a big idol of mine. I have always dreamt about playing sevens for Fiji and I've been given the opportunity.

"It is a team that plays with a lot of spirit and a lot of faith. You don't really see that in teams around the globe. I've played for many different teams at the highest level and Fiji is a special nation and a special country to play for."

Fiji coach Ben Ryan said of Hayne, "In attack he is comfortable on the ball, he has good spatial awareness and has good footwork. In defence he is a good tackler. It is the shape in defence, the breakdown skills, the finer arts and of course the engine, he is not going to have the same fitness as our boys have got but he's had a good week with us."

Fiji only needs to make the quarter-finals in London this weekend to secure back-to-back World Series titles.

They've already won three of the nine World Series rounds to date.

They've been drawn against Australia, England and Wales in their pool this weekend.

Day one starts tonight (NZ time).