We knew Jarryd Hayne took a pay cut when he left the Parramatta Eels to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL - but the San Francisco 49ers recruit revealed just how much on 60 Minutes on Sunday night.

Hayne revealed he was paid just $100,000 in his first season with the Niners - a whopping $1.4 million less than he would have taken home in salary if he stayed in rugby league.

Obviously Hayne was in position to survive a drop like that after being well-paid as one of the biggest stars in the NRL during his nine-year career.

New sponsorships like the one he signed with apparel giant Under Armour and the launch of his own clothing line may have also helped to bridge the gap.


But the 28-year-old's revelation highlighted the risk he took by venturing overseas and how a childhood spent in a red brick housing commission home in Minto perhaps helped him to make the decision.

"That's what the world thinks life's about - to be successful, to have a big house and have a nice car. But for me it's about being on an adventure, finding out who you are and pushing and growing as a person," Hayne said.

"I've come from having nothing to having a lot. And then having a lot and saying 'no, I don't want that. I want this'. Obviously the money was huge. I try not to think about it (laughing).

"First year I earnt $100,000, in my first year in the NFL. If I had of stayed here I would have earnt $1.5 (million). So just a bit of difference."

There were few other major revelations for regular followers of Hayne's journey in the 20-minute feature, which told his story from his days as a skinny-legged rugby league junior to the bright lights of America's Monday Night Football.

There were original interviews with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, special teams coach Thomas McGaughey Jr, American journalist/gym owner Jay Glazer and Hayne's US agent Jack Bechta.

The vision of the Australian going into a shop to buy an American football after landing in Los Angeles to first begin training as an NFL player was enlightening.

"You can try and dress it up as much as you want, but that's exactly what it was," said Hayne, of his first days in the States.

"You know, we landed and it was, 'Let's get a football, let's go to the park, run around'. And it's a different kind of adrenaline. It's a rush I've never had before. You know, there's fears, anxieties, there's questioning, there's 'Where are we going to sleep?'."

And the footage of him celebrating with his family in San Francisco after making the 49ers' final roster was moving (his Mum, Jodie, is a superstar and makes great television).

But the most enjoyable exchange with reporter Karl Stefanovic came as Hayne described what he was feeling after being told he'd be starting punt returner for the 49ers' first preseason game against the Houston Texans.

"I'm warming up and (I'm told) you're going to be the first punt returner," Hayne recalled. "I'm (thinking), 'beautiful ... I've only known the game for three months, I'll start at punt returner ... Can I at least watch someone else do it first? Beautiful ... I've seen it on TV before, I'll be right'.

"It was literally like that. 'Throw me in the deep end boys, thanks for that, appreciate it'."

It was a side of Hayne he doesn't often show but which perfectly illustrated just how insane his story is - whether he's getting paid well for it or not.