NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith said today he was disappointed the game was losing Jarryd Hayne but said every person was entitled to pursue their dreams.
Mr Smith said it was clear that money was not a factor in Jarryd’s decision to try his hand at NFL.
“This is one of those clear cut cases where I would have been happy to use my marquee player discretion to try to keep Jarryd in the NRL,” he said.
“In fact, I was in contact with Jarryd, his manager and the Eels management last night and this morning to see if there was anything we could do to keep him in the game.
“But Jarryd has a dream and he deserves the chance to pursue that dream.
“He is a gifted athlete who has been a wonderful asset for Rugby League and we wish him well in his next challenge.”
Mr Smith said Jarryd would be welcome back to the NRL at any time.
“In the meantime, I have no doubt new stars will come through the ranks to replace those leaving the game,” he said.
“One of the great things about the NRL is that there is always exciting new talent coming through the ranks to become the superstars of the future.”