Hayne confident of making 49ers team

SYDNEY – Jarryd Hayne says he still has a lot to learn at the San Francisco 49ers but is confident he can crack the NFL team’s final 53-man roster.

Hayne dazzled in his NFL pre-season debut against Houston Texans on Sunday (AEST), playing both as a running back and kick returner and breaking through the Texans’ defence to make an eye-catching 53-yard run.

With their next pre-season game at home against the Dallas Cowboys this weekend, the former Parramatta Eels and NSW fullback told reporters on Thursday he’s still in a process of adjustment from rugby league, but was confident he could make it in the NFL.

“Obviously, I’m far away from being a crisp running back,” he said.

“Returning punts and kick-offs is the thing that I’m most natural at.

“But for me I’ve got to work on my whole game. There’s not one or two things I need to work on, it’s everything.

“From the way I run routes to the way I handle the ball, picking up blitzes, for me there’s a whole bunch of things I not only need to get used to, but get better at as well.”

Hayne was thankful for the support of star 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the roster upon his arrival in San Francisco.

“For ‘Kap’ to welcome me with open arms was huge,” he said.

“It’s something that I’m very grateful for, and all the boys that were there were great.

“They all helped me out as much as they could and they’re all rooting for me as well.

“That’s been great, to be able to muck around with the lads and not get that homesickness.”

Hayne has garnered intense media interest in both Australia and his new home in the US, but most importantly the former NRL star continues to impress one of his coaches that will help make a call on whether he makes the final cut to be announced on September 5.

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