|Date of birth||10 April 1985|
|Place of birth||Penrith, Australia|
|Height||1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)|
|Weight||120 kg (18 st 13 lb; 265 lb)|
|School||Blue Mountains Grammar School|
|Rugby union career|
10 April 1985 |
Penrith, NSW, Australia
|Height:||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Weight:||255 lb (116 kg)|
|High school:||Blue Mountains Grammar|
|Career NFL statistics|
Hayden Smith (born 10 April 1985) is a professional rugby union player for Esher Rugby Club in England, and also plays for the United States national rugby union team. Smith also spent two years playing professional American football as a tight end for the New York Jets of the National Football League and also spent two years playing for Saracens FC in England.
Smith grew up in the town of Bullaburra in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney. He graduated from Blue Mountains Grammar School in 2002. As a teenager, he trained with the Sydney Kings NBL basketball team.
Smith won a scholarship to play and study in the United States. He went on to study Finance at the New York Institute of Technology. He transferred to the Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado where he played power forward on the basketball team. Smith intended to return to Australia and play professionally for the Kings, but the team went bankrupt.
As Smith completed his degree at Metro State, and basketball season had ended, he began playing rugby union on weekends to stay fit.
Rugby union (2008–2011)
Smith resumed playing rugby competitively in 2008. Within weeks of starting he played for the All-American Team and following his graduation, had started to play with the Denver Barbarians. Soon after joining the Barbarians, he was named 2008 Rugby All-American.
Smith joined the professional English side Saracens FC in the 2008/09 season on an academy contract. He made his academy debut against Newcastle Falcons in the 2008/09 season. His performances for the academy team Saracens Storm quickly saw him elevated to the first team squad. Smith impressed to earn a first team contract for the following seasons in which he went on to play a total of 43 matches in both the English Premiership and the Heineken Cup.
In international rugby, Smith was a regular with the US national team, for which he qualified on residency grounds. He made his test debut on 8 November 2008 against Uruguay. Smith helped his country qualify for the 2011 Rugby World Cup during which he started all 4 group stage matches for the United States. After the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Smith took a hiatus from rugby.
NFL career (2012–2013)
Smith was looking at the possibility of playing American football in the National Football League and had a workout with the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and the New Orleans Saints.
The New York Jets signed Smith on 3 April 2012. He was waived on 31 August 2012. A day later, he was signed to the Jets' practice squad. On 27 October 2012, he was promoted to the active roster from the practice squad. He caught his first and only NFL pass on 23 December 2012. He was released on 26 August 2013.
Return to rugby (2013–present)
On 9 December 2013 it was announced that Hayden had re-signed for Saracens on a long term deal. In January 2014, Smith played his first professional rugby match for Saracens since returning from the NFL. Smith started for Saracens in the 2014–15 Anglo-Welsh Cup Final helping them claim a victory at the death, 23–20 over Exeter Chiefs.
At the end of the 2015-16 season Smith left Saracens to join Esher of National League 1.
- "Aviva Premiership Rugby – Saracens". web page. Premier Rugby. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
- "Aussie Hayden Smith goes from basketballer to rugby international", Daily Telegraph, Iain Payten, 23 September 2011.
- Milham, Simon (2 February 2012). "Saracens forward Smith hopes to land NFL deal". Daily Mail. London.
- "Tight end guru sees big things ahead for Hayden Smith". National Football Post.
- Cimini, Rich (3 April 2012). "Rugby star Hayden Smith joins Jets". ESPN New York. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- Lange, Randy (31 August 2012). "Final 7 Cuts Announced, Roster's Now at 53". New York Jets. Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- Jets Media Relations Department (1 September 2012). "Jets Announce Roster, Practice Squad Moves". New York Jets. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- Jets Media Relations Department (27 October 2012). "Hayden Smith Promoted to the Active Roster". New York Jets. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- ESPN (23 December 2012). "Box Score, ESPN, Dec 23,2012". ESPN.
- Cimini, Rich (27 August 2013). "Geno Smith could sit for preseason finale". ESPN New York. Archived from the original on 27 August 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "Eagles Abroad: Weekend Review". Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- "LV= Anglo-Welsh Cup". espnscrum. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
- "Hayden Smith Joining Esher". TIAR. Retrieved 13 September 2016.