San Francisco 49ers hint Jarryd Hayne won't play opener

Jarryd Hayne of Australia during a punt return against the Dallas Cowboys during his pre-season NFL game.
Jarryd Hayne of Australia during a punt return against the Dallas Cowboys during his pre-season NFL game. JOHN G. MABANGLO

READ into it what you like. The San Francisco 49ers are either bracing Australia for the reality Jarryd Hayne won't play in the season-opener, or they are putting up a giant smoke screen.

Just four days out from the first game of the season against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night (Tuesday 12.15pm AEST), the 49ers have dropped several not so subtle hints that Hayne won't feature.

The Niners have until 90 minutes before kick-off to name 46 active players for the match against the Vikings, but head coach Jim Tomsula and special teams coach Thomas McGaughey both went out of their way to highlight Hayne's inexperience on the big stage.

It may be a case of playing mind games with the opposition, but it seems the 49ers are trying to brace their fans - mainly a growing contingency on a bandwagon in Australia - that the 27-year-old ex-NRL superstar won't be playing.

"Everybody is flying the Hayne Plane right now, but if you look at who led our team in punt returns in the pre-season, it wasn't Jarryd Hayne. It would be DeAndrew White," McGaughey said when he fronted the media.

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Topics:  editors picks gridiron jarryd hayne san francisco 49ers

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