Young auctioneer bound for Scotland to follow rugby dream
Rugby Union: "If I didn't do it now, I would get to be 40 with kids and a family and regret not taking that opportunity for my whole life."
That's why one 24-year-old boarded a plane to Scotland yesterday to play football professionally.
Landon Hayes has every reason to be comfortable in his life in Harrisville, with a promising career ahead of him as an auctioneer in his parents' business Hayes and Co.
Even so, when the opportunity knocked, the rugby fanatic was eager to pack his bags and begin a new chapter playing rugby union in Scotland.
A video of Hayes' highlight sporting moments impressed those in charge of selecting players and landed him an offer.
The opportunity meant he could be playing professionally in a new game of rugby union involving teams from Scotland and Wales for up to four years.
"They've created a brand new competition called the Super Sixes," Hayes said.
Hayes was offered a 14-month contract, with the potential to extend.
"If everything goes well, I might stay there for three or four years," he said.
"Or I could be back in a month, if I don't like it."
Hayes, who is half English, said he was offered the chance to join a Scottish team as one of the teams "few imports".
"Each team is allowed a certain number of players from other countries so my (future) room-mate is from New Zealand and there's another bloke from Australia and someone from Argentina," he said.
"They've just selected four imported player to go over and represent the club."
Growing up, Hayes immersed himself in both union and league and plays for the Brisbane East Tigers on Saturdays.
"I've played league all my life and I got scholarship to a rugby union school when I was in high school," he said.
"The experience to be able to play rugby in another country and be paid to do it and travel around Europe before I have any serious commitments... It's too good to pass up,"