Australian rugby league star Jarryd Hayne announced on Monday his intention to sign a futures contract with the San Francisco 49ers. The team officially announced his signing to a three-year deal on Tuesday afternoon.
Hayne, a two-time National Rugby League player of the year, donned a 49ers hat at a Sydney press conference after thanking the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions for showing interest in his services.
The 27-year-old first revealed his intent to play in the NFL back in October. Down under, the news was described as one of the "biggest bombshells" in Australian sport.
In December, Hayne worked out in California for several NFL teams. He reportedly measured 6-foot-2, 226 pounds and ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash.
On that same trip to the states, Hayne said he visited the 49ers and spent an hour meeting with Jim Tomsula, then the team's defensive line coach. According to Hayne, Tomsula's experience in NFL Europe teaching American football to foreign players played a significant role in his decision.
"He was probably the one coach who knew the transition better than anyone. He knows what it's going to take," Hayne said. "When Jim Tomsula got the job, that's when I called (my agent) back up and was like, 'You wouldn't believe it. The guy I spent the most time with is now the head coach.'
"It made it be the perfect fit for me to join the 49ers."
Should Hayne pass a physical and sign with the 49ers, he will be teammates with former British rugby player and Olympian Lawrence Okoye, who is beginning his third year with the 49ers. Okoye spent his first season on injured reserve and was a member of the practice squad in 2014.
In his press conference, Hayne said he will leave Australia soon to move to California. He will be eligible to join the 49ers offseason program when it begins on April 6.
"The hard stuff starts now, when I get over there and start training, that's when it's business," Hayne said. "I know it's going to be a huge mountain to climb. I'm excited, nervous and everything goes along with such a big move.
"You have to be all in – I have all my chips on the table. I have no backup plan."
Hayne added that he is open to playing any position in the NFL, but that he has been training at running back. He also figures to receive reps in the return game.
Pierre Garçon and Kendall Hunter are the 49ers top running backs currently under contract. Veteran Frank Gore is set to become a free agent. Bruce Ellington was the 49ers main return man last season. The 49ers also added Trindon Holliday late last year on special teams.
Below is video of Hayne's pro day along with three notable social media posts following his press conference: