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Top NFL coach says Hayne has to make 49ers

  • Top NFL coach says Hayne has to make 49ers

Legendary NFL coach John Madden says Jarryd Hayne has all but sealed his spot on the San Francisco 49ers' final 53-man roster.

And if he doesn't, he will go to another NFL team.

Hayne's head-turning pre-season outings against the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys have made an irresistible case for selection.

In his first home match at Levi's Stadium on Monday (AEST), the 27-year-old Australian rookie dubbed "the story of pre-season football" further boosted his prospects with some scintillating punt returns and decent runs.

According to NFL.com, he is ranked second in pre-season rushing gains, with his 117 yards only three behind leader, rising Denver Bronco Ronnie Hillman.

And though 49ers coach Jim Tomsula has played down the hype, Hall Of Fame coach Madden says the former Parramatta and NSW star is certain of making the cut.

"He's come all the way from, geez, that's a nice story', rugby player, all these things to, `Doggone, right now he's a pretty good player, maybe he'll make the team'," Madden told KCBS radio.

"Right now, I think he has to make the team."

Madden said he was most impressed with former fullback Hayne's catching ability.

"The big thing for me is his vision, the way he runs and sees, but the fact that he can catch the ball," he said.

"That's the big thing with a punt returner.

"This guy looks like he's a great catcher of the punt.

"He can catch the ball anywhere."

Madden added that the 49ers are now in the situation where they will have to find a roster place for Hayne, or watch him go to another team.

If he doesn't make the 53-player cut, every other NFL team would have to overlook him before the 49ers could have him back in their practice squad.

Meanwhile, Channel Seven have reportedly entered into talks with NFL media executives to televise Haynes' matches with the San Francisco 49ers this season.

Keen to cash in on the huge interest in the former Parramatta Eels superstar, negotiations were opened after Haynes' spectacular game against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday, News Corp reported.

Seven already has exclusive free-to-air rights to show three NFL games each week.

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