Former rugby league star Jarryd Hayne retires from the NFL to pursue Olympic dream

Hayne hopes to represent the Fiji 7's team in Rio later this summer

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Picture by: Tony Avelar / AP/Press Association Images

Jarryd Hayne, the former Australian rugby league international has retired from American football after one season with the San Francisco 49ers.

Hayne was the biggest star in rugby league in Australia, before deciding to switch sports. He claimed that it was always his dream to try and compete in the NFL.

After being picked up by the San Francisco 49ers, Hayne played eight times in his debut season for the team, and was used primarily as a rusher and also on special teams. In his short time in America, he certainly made an impact.

The 29-year-old revealed on Sunday night, he has left the NFL to pursue a career in rugby sevens at the Olympic Games. He hopes to represent Fiji, the same country he represented in the 2007 Rugby League World Cup.

In a statement released by the Australian native, Hayne revealed his reasons for leaving American, only a year after moving there from Australia.

"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. 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."

Since he has made his announcement, the former head of Australian Anti-Doping Richard Ings has claimed the Hayne may not be eligible to compete in Rio de Janeiro in four months time. Athletes need to go through six months of anti-doping tests when returning to a sport to prove their eligibility, when Hayne will not have time to complete.