Two weeks ago, Jarryd Hayne was voted as the best player in the National Rugby League for the second time.

And yesterday, the full-back was selected for Australia’s Four Nations squad after impressing for his club side, the Parramatta Eels.

But none of that matters as of today, with Hayne announcing he is to leave the sport behind in pursuit of his dream of becoming a professional NFL player.

By Stuart Hynd – @supers0nic_

Hayne has played for the Eels since he was 13, with the 26-year-old expected to continue playing top-level rugby for years to come.

Hayne said: “Today I can officially announce that I will be heading to the United States to pursue an opportunity to play American football. I’ll be a free agent.

“It will give me the opportunity to go over there and train and potentially, hopefully, play NFL one day.”

He added: “I’m always telling people to chase their dreams and follow their hearts. If I don’t live by that I’m not being honest with myself.”

It has been reported that Hayne has already met with last year’s Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks with a view to a move.

Hayne says he is a quick learner and that his ability to pick up things fast, mixed with his outright pace and acceleration, fill him with confidence.

“I believe I have the speed, I’m a quick learner, I feel things out really quickly.

“I have no doubt it’s going to be tough. Ultimately it’s a 12-month plan, going over there and trying to make a train-on team. For me to do that I need to start preparing for that around January or February.”

Hayne told the media that if he is unsuccessful and doesn’t join a team in that 12-month period, he will return to rugby and rejoin Parramatta.

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