FORMER Kangaroos international Jarryd Hayne has surprised many with his impact in American Football – but not Wigan’s Taulima Tautai!
Hayne’s switch to NFL has captured the imagination of rugby league fans on both sides of the world.
The NFL’s official website labelled him “one of the most exciting open-field runners” after just two pre-season games.
Warriors prop Tautai has been watching on from afar as his former schoolboy team-mate has been carving it up for San Fransisco 49ers.
“We’re from the same town and we grew up together, we played juniors from when we were seven,” said Tautai, who later played NRL at Parramatta with the 27-year-old.
“To see him playing the way he is – having no background (in NFL) – is great, and hopefully he goes really well.
“I’ve been keeping track of his games so far... I’ve even ordered by 49ers jersey, with his name on!”
Tautai says the elusive Hayne has always possessed a freakish skill-set.
“He’s ridiculous, some things you can’t teach – and he had that,” the ex-Wakefield forward said.
“Even as a kid, everyone would be training and he’d be by himself, doing his own thing – he’s just a freak of an athlete.
“He was one of those guys, you give him the ball, step back and watch him.
“And a lot of the times he’d pull it off.
“For him to go over there, and make the mark he has, good on him.”