49ers reportedly in talks to play preseason game in Australia

Running back/punt returner Jarryd Hayne would be a marquee attraction in Australia.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Could the San Francisco 49ers play a preseason game in Australia? A published report from the land Down Under suggests it's a possibility.

Following the migration of Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne to the 49ers, the Daily Telegraph of Sydney reported that “secret talks” have been held to bring the 49ers to play in an NFL exhibition game in August at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird has been the driving force behind negotiations with the NFL, according to the report, and 49ers owner John York sounded receptive to the idea.

“It’s something we’d definitely consider with the NFL,” York said. “We’re fully aware of the interest Jarryd Hayne has created in Sydney and Australia. I’ve met fans from Australia at every game this year. The support is incredible.”

Hayne was among the top rugby players in the country before deciding to walk away from the sport and give the NFL a shot. He has served primarily as a punt returner through the first seven games while seeing sparse duty at running back. 

“It’d be great to get the Hayne train and the 49ers to Sydney and we’re talking to the NFL about making it happen,” Baird told the newspaper. “If the NFL comes to the southern hemisphere, we’ve got one message for them: Sydney’s the spot.”

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