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A Hayne moment to savour, scoring his spectacular solo try against the Dragons in the 2009 Finals Series.
There will be countless young Eels fans who will burst into tears when they get home from school this afternoon and are told by their parents that Jarryd Hayne won't be playing for Parramatta any more.

In fits of pre-pubescent rage posters may be torn down from walls and jerseys adorned by his No.1 will evoke sadness rather than pride but I hope when that anger subsides their parents will explain that in fact by walking away from rugby league, Jarryd Hayne has delivered the most inspirational moment of his decorated career.

Among the options available to this supremely gifted athlete was to cash in his cheque, play rival clubs and codes off against each other and submit himself to a bidding war or simply stay put and do exactly what he's been doing since coming into the NRL way back in 2006.

There were financial rewards available the likes of which few rugby league players have ever seen but his decision to pursue a potential career in the NFL was never about money. There is something inside Jarryd that has been eating away at him for the past two years and an avenue he would have pursued earlier if not for his loyalty to the blue and golds.

I hope when the parents of 'Hayne Plane' devotees explain this news that the over-riding message that young people take away is that it is always, no matter what, socially acceptable to follow your dreams.

That dream for Jarryd originally was to play in the NRL, play State of Origin, represent his country and buy his mum a house and now that those feats have been achieved, he is chasing an opportunity that only a couple of years ago he himself saw to be pure fantasy.

"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," Hayne told a stunned media throng on Wednesday morning.

"The hardest thing about leaving the club is there's stability for the first time in a long time, but I know where my heart lies and I’m following that."

It's a lesson not just for kids but for all of us.

Whether it's your work life, an athletic pursuit, a hobby or an exotic holiday that captures your imagination every time you open the Sunday papers, there is something in your consciousness that appears so implausible that you never give it serious thought.

There are commitments in the world we live in that can't be ignored and the easy option is to always stick to the status quo but if fortune really does favour the brave, what are we all scared of?

I'd love to have a six-pack, be able to play to a single-figure golf handicap and shout the kids a week in Disneyland but until I find the courage of my convictions, none of those things will come true.

Jarryd Hayne is in a unique position to take advantage of an extraordinary opportunity but it is hard to imagine anything he will face from here on in will be as difficult as making that giant leap to leave the comfort of his surroundings behind.

We will miss terribly Jarryd's annual input on NRL highlight reels and those who have been fortunate to see him play will forever have that "moment" where he defied all sense of reason to create something truly special.

Mine was being present at Kogarah Oval for Week One of the 2009 Finals Series when Jarryd beat the entire Dragons team twice in a snaking run to the try-line that continued to carry the Eels towards an unlikely charge from eighth spot all the way to the Grand Final.

I told my Dragons-mad wife that if we'd left 10 minutes earlier – as she'd suggested – that we would have missed a moment of pure sporting theatre, but through red and white eyes she failed to see my reasoning.

I know there are Eels fans hurting right now and I do feel their pain but I'll forever be thankful to Jarryd Hayne for reminding me that sport isn't about the dollars you can make, it's about finding out how good you can actually be.
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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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