Fiji head coach John McKee appears to have finally ended Jarryd Hayne’s hopes of playing at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
He also quit the NFL to play Sevens rugby for Fiji at the London Sevens in 2016 in an attempt to make their squad for the Olympics in Rio, which he failed to achieve. Fiji went on to win the gold medal.
Rumours of a switch to the 15-man code increased at the turn of the year with Hayne linked to a Top 14 move or Super Rugby in an attempt to prove himself to selectors.
But McKee has now quashed suggestions that the Paramatta Eels man remains a World Cup contender.
“There’s nothing happening there with Jarryd,” McKee said in an interview with foxsports.com.au.
“It’s too late now.”
McKee had previously been open to the suggestion of Hayne making it into his squad for Japan.
“I’d certainly look at Jarryd’s form if he came back to rugby,” McKee said earlier this year.
“Realistically it’d be a hard job now with rugby league going through to September; it doesn’t leave much of a window for him. He’s got a lot of good players he’s up against, so if he’s good enough he’ll get in but he’d have to be outplaying some outstanding players.”
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Watch: Jarryd Hayne getting smashed early in State of Origin 2 last year
The hype and excitement about the potential recruitment of Hayne certainly grabbed the attention of Nemani Nadolo, who in February said “There’s obviously been talk around the camp that Jarryd’s potentially coming to play for Fiji.”
“Just the excitement of hearing that Jarryd Hayne might be coming across again is pretty exciting.”
Instead Fiji will be focussing on the players who will be available, one, in particular, is grabbing the eye of McKee – Semi Radradra.
“He played for us against Georgia and had a very sharp day, and was quite instrumental in our win in his debut for the Flying Fijians” he said.
“He’ll be with us on our November tour and he’ll be there at the World Cup, and he can be one of the stars of the tournament.”
Fiji are in Pool D at the World Cup alongside Australia, Wales, Georgia and Uruguay.
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