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Jarryd Hayne Hopes to Earn His Way onto 49ers Gameday Roster

For Jarryd Hayne, the thrill from attaining a massive achievement over the weekend has faded back to focus.

After surviving final cuts to earn a spot on the San Francisco 49ers initial 53-man roster, the Australian import faces another uphill climb at the onset of the regular season.

Ninety minutes before kickoff on Monday night, the team will announce seven inactive players. If Hayne is to make his non-exhibition NFL debut, the running back will have to further prove his worth.

Hayne is acutely aware of that fact – even in the face of swelling excitement overseas in anticipation of his first real game.

The San Francisco 49ers spent Thursday working against the scout team in preparations for hosting the Minnesota Vikings in their 2015 opener.

"This is just another week to train and to learn the game," Hayne told reporters on Friday. "Things haven't changed. It's exactly the same for me.

"This is what we as athletes do, we prepare the best we can and whatever happens in the future happens."

If the coaching staff decides to keep Hayne active against the Minnesota Vikings, it'll likely be because of special teams. Pierre Garçon and Reggie Bush figure to carry the load on the ground, so in order for the rookie to play, he'll have to impress on kickoff/punt return and coverage in practice this week. Hayne averaged 18.1 yards per punt return in the preseason.

"Very confident in his ability to field a punt, but again, how much else can you do? What can you do for the team?" Jim Tomsula said. "The things that we're doing this week, do they fit your skill set? That's where that all comes down to in my head."

In the preseason, Hayne only needed to worry about his own growth and how he could build confidence in San Francisco's schemes. But in the regular season, a significant portion of the gameday buildup is devoted to scouting the opponent.

"You're into game preparation now, so you've got that aspect of it. But we've also got to stay on the development side of it," Tomsula said. "There has to be those techniques and those fundamentals. And we have got to stay on that road. That's the line that you balance there."

Added Hayne, "There's just more detail. It's studying them and their traits. We have to understand their defensive fronts and what they like to do."

Regardless of his playing status, Hayne said he is looking forward to the atmosphere of a nationally-televised game under the primetime lights. The former rugby league star credited his new fans for making him feel at home.

"They've been great," Hayne said of the Faithful. "They're very passionate and very emotional fans. It's definitely been a great introduction to their love and to the way they do things here."

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