Apparently, having never played a sport before has little influence on Jarryd Hayne’s decision-making process. First, it was his attempted code jump from the NRL to the NFL that drew headlines and more or less continuous attention from media and fans.
Now, his announcement to qualify for the Rio Olympics as a part of the Fiji Sevens squad has been followed by his divulging that he has never before played Sevens rugby.
Fiji Sevens Coach Ben Ryan has cautioned Hayne that the selection process will be based on playing form, with the implication being that a marquee name will not influence the decision.
Sports fans with a historical perspective and some affinity for the NBA will recall a similar code-hopping incident in the early 90s when Michael Jordan, arguably one of the all-time best hoopers ever to play the game, made the ill-fated attempt to become a professional baseball player. Even though Jordan had played a lot of baseball as a youth, as well as being a superb athlete, he quickly discovered that he was hopeless as a baseball player and could not hit a curve ball for love nor money.
What Hayne might fail to realise is that he is running out of years to compete as a premier-level athlete, so he had better focus on that which he does exceedingly well before he adopts the notion of jumping into the pool and having a go at the Australian Olympic Swimming Team.