It would seem an obvious conclusion that one of the NRL’s greatest players would be a lock for the Fijian sevens team bound for the Rio Olympics, as is Jarryd Hayne’s latest intention, but not so fast, says former Australian sevens coach Mick O’Connor.
With an opportunity to participate in just one tournament and seven weeks of training prior to the launch of the 2016 games, O’Connor maintains that if it were already difficult to make the transition Hayne faces, doing so for the best rugby sevens squad in the world makes it doubly so.
O’Connor even has gone so far as to say making the 12-main list for the Fiji squad is a greater challenge than earning a spot in the NFL.
Hayne’s potential lack of the aerobic capacity needed to cover all the ground required of a sevens player and the demands of playing six games over the course of two days could seriously impair his chances. Hayne’s recent NFL training was more focused on quickness and less on endurance and his off-season regimen in Australia as he prepared to resume his NFL quest in San Francisco was predominantly strength related. NFL contest require six to seven minutes of maximum effort per game, with even less for some positions. Sevens is more or less continuous running for the entire game.