Niners Sign Rugby Star Jarryd Hayne
While the Kiko Alonso-LeSean McCoy trade will dominate NFL headlines tonight, the 49ers made another move with potentially significant ramifications.
Earlier today, they signed 27 year old Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne to a three year contract with $100,000 guaranteed. Hayne was the Australian rugby player of the year twice in his eight year career. He now looks to make the 49ers 53-man roster as a running back or return man.
At 6'2", 226 pounds, Hayne posesses an NFL body. According to Fox Sports, he reportedly ran a 4.53 40 yard dash and trained with Jay Glazer before leaving the Parramore Eels rugby team for the NFL. He displays breakaway speed along with solid instincts in the above highlight video. That alone does not guarantee him an NFL future, but it shows why the 49ers and other teams were intrigued by the rugby sensation.
The Lions and Seahawks were serious suitors for Hayne, but he was swayed by the $100K guarantee money and Jim Tomsula's NFL Europe coaching experience. He now goes from the pinnacle of rugby to training camp fodder in the NFL. Only time will tell if Hayne makes an impact.