**On Tuesday evening - around noon on Wednesday in Australian Eastern Daylight Time - we sent this Facebook post targeted exclusively to people who "Like" our page and reside in Australia, New Zealand or Fiji. *
// < by San Francisco 49ers.
We wanted to learn more about Hayne, the 49ers newest running back, who is a relative unkown in the United States despite being an icon to fans of the National Rugby League in his home country of Australia.
The post went out to about 20,000 people. Some are longtime 49ers fans living on the other side of the word. Many have a new interest in the team, following the "Babe Ruth" (as one fan called him) of the NRL as he attempts the ardous task of making it in the NFL. Football fans know his success in the league would be unprecedented. Supporters of Hayne, however, are confident his greatness will translate to the NFL. The response we received to the post was overwhelming.
Here are a few we have compiled** (you can also open the post above to read through them all).
"He will light up the NFL... He is a supreme athlete.* #HaynePlane" -Mitchell Shore
"Freak athlete" -Patrick Abou-Sleiman
"He's not just a 2 time MVP in Australian Rugby League, he's one of the best players in history. Critics and fellow players alike were always commenting on his freakish ability to pull off hail mary plays week in week out with almost no effort." -Christopher Moss
"The 49ers have just earned themselves millions of Australian fans." -Kathy Pearson
"You got one of our greatest players of all time. I'm sure your club will benefit big time from him." -Craig Stannard
"As an NRL fan I'm sorry to see him leave...but as a diehard 49ers fan I am ecstatic that he's heading to San Fran!" -Steve Russell
"He really is a freakish athlete on another level to most people, the best part is he's not doing it for fame and glory either, he's doing it to test himself because he is a true athlete. He's giving up a guaranteed 1 million a year salary to follow a dream." -Christopher Moss
"The only concern is how quickly he can pick up the finer details of positional play in the NFL. If he does that he will be a weapon. I'm just glad he's at the Niners." -Glenn Desmond
"Given the chance Hayne will light up the NFL like he did the NRL!! He is quick, has good hands and has plenty of power. I'm now a 49er's fan simply because you have our man Jarryd Hayne in you're team*." *-Darren Nagle
"You guys don't really understand the calibre of player this guy is yet, he's not just good, he's going to go down as one of history's greatest. He's just got the X factor. He's the NRL's Babe Ruth." -Christopher Moss
"america wont even know what hit them. hayne is AMAZING" -Stanislav B. Idowu
"All of Australia are now 49ers fans...inspirational athlete." -Ryan Borysko
"you've picked up one of the greatest athletes this country has ever produced. Quick on his feet, strong up top, insane commitment to his team and his teammates. Good pick up San Fran" -Braydon Bell
Another Australian who chimed in on social media was Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut.