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49ers RB Jarryd Hayne Dismisses Rumors of Return to National Rugby League

Jarryd Hayne swiftly shot down the recent reports that the former Rugby League star might leave the NFL and return to the National Rugby League.

Hayne signed with the San Francisco 49ers during the offseason in an unprecedented move to transition from his rugby stardom to test the unknown waters of American football. The Australian rookie made San Francisco's 53-man roster out of training camp and was active for the team's first six games.

After being inactive in Week 7 against the Seattle Seahawks, Hayne was waived by the 49ers before being re-signed to the team's practice squad.

Despite the ups and downs to his first season as a football player, the running back back told media on Friday that there is zero truth to the rumors about his possible departure from the NFL.

"If I was going to go back (to Australia), I wouldn't have even come (to America)," Hayne said. "Media back home is obviously just trying to make stories and use my name to make headlines. It's foolish."

In his six games of NFL experience, Hayne has run the ball eight times for 25 yards while catching one pass for seven yards. The rookie also has eight punt returns for 76 yards. Hayne's 37-yard punt return in Week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals is still the longest of any 49ers player over the last two seasons.

Hayne said that when goes back and watches old tape of himself from OTAs and minicamp, he can see the obvious progress he's made in just six months. The running back doesn't need a roster spot to know how far he's come as a football player.

"(The tape) always makes me laugh," Hayne said. "It's like, 'What was I thinking? What was I doing?' I'm just getting better."

Hayne has been getting plenty of reps on the scout team during each week in practice. The running back is responsible for giving the first-team defense a look at what they can expect from their next opponent. As the team has prepared for Seattle over the past two weeks, Hayne even crossed over to the defensive side of the ball, playing the role of Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas.

Hayne's goal to rejoin San Francisco's 53-man active roster remains most important, but he knows it's not worth trying to rush the process. Hayne told reporters that he's continuing to get positive feedback from special team's coordinator Thomas McGaughey Jr.

"My special team's coach told me, 'If I can come this far in five or six months, imagine how much further I'm going to go in 12 months,'" Hayne said. "That's definitely my mindset."

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