Hayne played 176 games for the Parramatta Eels in the NRL, and represented his country on 12 occasions, before announcing his plans to try and break into the NFL late last year.
He has succeeded in passing his first test, having been offered a rookie contract by the 49ers, which guarantees him a spot on the team for the next 15-20 weeks.
But the 27-year-old, who is trying out as a kick returner and running back, will need to impress the team’s training staff further if he is to earn a place on their 53-man roster by the time the 2015 season comes around.
Hayne had attracted interest from two other franchises, the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks, but said he preferred the 49ers because their new head coach Jim Tomsula had a good knowledge of rugby.??
“For me this (deal) is a small step in the right direction,” he said.??
“The hard stuff starts now. Mentally I’m ready for anything. I’m going to do what it takes.”