Back in union: Hayden Smith.

Back in the game: Hayden Smith. Photo: Supplied

Australian-born American international second row forward Hayden Smith has returned to leading English rugby union club Saracens after spending 18 months with the New York Jets in the NFL.

As a tight-end, Smith made six appearances in the NFL but is returning to the London club where he played between 2008-12.

"It's fantastic to be back," said the lock capped 18 times by the United States.

"I learned a huge amount in the NFL, various elements that will help me become a better rugby player, but there is nothing like the Saracens environment and I am now completely focused on working hard and helping the squad achieve all our goals."

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall added: "Hayden is a phenomenal athlete with huge potential, and it's great to have him back in the fold."