THE FRENCH CONNECTION – DYLAN HAYES LIVING HIS DREAM

THE FRENCH CONNECTION – DYLAN HAYES LIVING HIS DREAM

Recently I caught up with a young man Dylan Hayes who took a brave punt on chasing his sporting and life dreams and geez is he having an amazing life, living and playing rugby in the highly competitive top division in France. Dylan was visiting his parents Colin and Ali and brother Nik and his family during a short holiday on the Gold Coast and kindly sat down with me to tell us about the amazing adventure he is very much still having.
DYLAN HAYES LIVING HIS DREAM

Recently I caught up with a young man Dylan Hayes who took a brave punt on chasing his sporting and life dreams and geez is he having an amazing life, living and playing rugby in the highly competitive top division in France.

Dylan was visiting his parents Colin and Ali and brother Nik and his family during a short holiday on the Gold Coast and kindly sat down with me to tell us about the amazing adventure he is very much still having.

Growing up in the small town of Blenheim in New Zealand, rugby star Dylan Hayes knew that at some stage he would need to move to a city to realise his sporting dreams.

Playing at Marlborough Boys College in under 16s but unable to make the first 15 and out of the Moutere club firstly at second five but then reverting to loose-forward. Dylan certainly enjoyed rugby but softball was where he thought his real sporting future lay back then. He trialed for the Junior Black Sox but narrowly missed selection.

He was playing rep softball for Marlborough alongside his brother Nik Hayes, the current New Zealand Black Sox pitcher. Their dad Colin was something of a Marlborough sporting star, playing for Marlborough in softball, rugby, soccer, hockey and touch.

While at Marlborough Boys’ College Dylan made enquiries about moving to Wellington, the response was all positive and he shifted over Cook Strait to attend boarding school at St Pats Siverstream, a school steeped in rugby history.

Dylan Hayes Family
AKING ON THE WORLD Dylan Hayes with dad Colin (centre) and brother Nik supporting Black Sox pitcher Nik at the 2019 World softball championships in Prague

Playing at St Pats as a loose-forward, mainly six, coinciding with a growth spirt which meant he was ideally built to take the physical heat of that position.

Selected in various Wellington age group squads and the Hurricanes development squad, he just couldn’t seem to crack the next level but did get a trial for the New Zealand under 20 team. He missed out on selection there but a scout from the powerhouse French club Grenoble was impressed with his performances and asked Dylan if he was interested in moving to France to trial for the club and if successful play in the top division.

Once he missed out on New Zealand selection he  consulted family then agreed terms and made a brave decision to head into the complete unknown on the other side of the world and chase his dream.

FULL THROTTLE -Dylan Hayes in action for Agen in the French championship

Apart from two serious neck injuries, the second of which left him paralysed from the waist down for a short time, he’s loved every minute of it. What began as a three-year plan in France then coming back to New Zealand, the talented loose-forward has now played in France for eight years and currently plays for another top French side Agen.

Dylan Hayes and his partner Clara during a rugby break in Corcica

He’s also met the love of his life, partner Clara and is also studying for a business degree, although still just 28, he has no immediate plans to quit the game he loves so much.

AbsolutelyFamous reporter John Alexander interviews Dylan Hayes on the fabulous Gold Coast

Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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