World Rugby Statement: Jarryd Hayne

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The following is a Media Release from World Rugby

World Rugby clarifies eligibility position regarding Fiji rugby’s latest sevens recruit.

World Rugby notes the announcement that Jarryd Hayne (pictured above playing for Fiji circa. 2008) wishes to pursue new sporting challenges with the Fiji rugby sevens team and has moved to address speculation regarding the player’s availability under Regulation 21 to play sevens.

World Rugby is committed to the highest-possible anti-doping standards. The WADA-compliant ‘World Rugby Regulation 21’ mirrors the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code and the WADA International Standard for Testing and Investigations. It does not require a player to be included in a testing pool for a defined period of time prior to selection if they are being selected for international competition for the first time. This position is entirely consistent with World Rugby’s approach to other cross-over athletes, including other ex-NFL athletes coming into rugby.

Therefore, Hayne would be eligible for the London round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series subject to all other regulatory and registration matters being met. He would also be immediately included in World Rugby’s pre-Rio 2016 risk-based testing programme, which since January 2016 has included a comprehensive programme of targeted in-and-out of competition blood and urine testing on players likely to compete in Rio. The pre-Games programme also includes regular additional screening for substances such as ESAs and human growth hormone, and both steroidal and haematological athlete biological profiling.

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Editorial comment: Last Word On Sports believes that the leading team in the current HSBC Rugby World Sevens Series must be in the best position possible to judge the required qualities to ‘play sevens rugby’. Similarly coach Ben Ryan spoke recently of still having to see Jarryd Hayne train with the current squad, so the equivalency is still unknown but it appears as the medical clearance and ethical decisions will be made by the Fiji Olympic Committee and possible drug testing policy compliance.

All the best to the player, who is not what some in the media refer to as a ‘failed NFL player’. Hayne took a dream to play Gridiron for the San Francisco 49’ers in arena’s and stadium’s of the United States professional game. That is successful to anyone. If he dreams of Gold, and is trusted to be one of the best; or in the top players that Fiji can assemble prior to the games, then he will have been measured by the best team in Sevens Rugby today.

“Main photo credit”