Jarryd Hayne's dream of making it into big time American football has paid off. It's now official - he's been recognised as one of NFL's best pre-season performers which has earned him a spot on the San Francisco 49ers final 53-man NFL roster.
Hayne 27 grew up in Sydney and has Fijian heritage from his father Manao Thompson. His mother Jodie, his sisters and his uncle watched Thursday's exhibition finale in the Levi's stadium stands.
But although Hayne is guaranteed a position on the 53-man roster, it doesn't guarantee him a start in the 49ers season opener against the Vikings. Coach Jim Tomsula can only name 46 active players for each game and won't name the team until 90 minutes before kick off.
His pre-season performance was only beaten by one man - Minnesota's Stefon Diggs, who finished with a 21.7 yard average from 10 carries, compared to Hayne's 18.1 yard average from nine carries.
Hayne 3rd from left
Hayne will continue to earn $US25,500 a week for the next 17 weeks but if he is cut at any stage, he will still walk away with a minimum of $US115,000 (guarantee and bonus).
His coach Jim Tomsula is astonished by the level of interest shown in Hayne. "After the game, there was a crowd of people standing over on the side, it looked like 40 or 50 people, and they were all from Australia" he said. "I've been kinda peeing on his parade but you know what I'm saying, we don't want to put the cart before the horse."
Jarryd Hayne with his father, former Souths star Manoa Thompson