The Newcastle Knights seemed all but certain to sign Wests Tigers half Luke Brooks before turning their attention elsewhere.
Jackson Hastings joined the Tigers on a two-year deal in 2022 with the intention being that he would replace Brooks as the club’s starting halfback.
However, after finishing last on the ladder the power brokers at the club have soured on the former Super League Man of Steel and are now instead looking to move Hastings on instead of Brooks, something many fans would think to be unimaginable.
Not only are the Tigers looking to move Hastings on but he has allegedly already been seen in talks with the Knights according to The Daily Telegraph’s Phil “Buzz” Rothfield.
“Wests Tigers star Jackson Hastings and his manager Liam Ayoub have been spotted in Newcastle,” said Rothfield.
“One very good source has told your columnist the pair caught up last week with a man who was the spitting image of Knights general manager of football Peter Parr.
“It’s common knowledge the Knights are in the market for a halfback.”
Rothfield then went on to claim that the person at the Tigers who prefers Brooks over Hastings is their new head coach Tim Sheens.
Wetsts Tigers star Jackson Hastings and his manager Liam Ayoub have been spotted in Newcastle.
They were not there for a holiday or to check out local real estate, either.
Saint, Sinner, Shoosh via @BuzzRothfield:
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) November 12, 2022
“Sheens is not a fan [of Hastings],” Rothfield stated.
“He even asked caretaker coach Brett Kimmorley to move Hastings to lock forward last season.
“Sheens has made it blatantly clear he has no future at the club by throwing around multimillion-dollar offers for the likes of Cameron Munster and Mitchell Moses.”
It is baffling to see Sheens take such a stance based on how Hastings played last season.
While the Tigers did finish last and as a whole had a bad year Hastings was arguably their best player and was often the difference-maker when they won games.
Unfortunately, he did spend time on the sidelines through suspension and then injury but considering the current position the Tigers are in that is something they can afford to take a risk on next season as he is an amazing talent.
Brooks looked like a more confident player when partnered with Hastings in the halves also as the pressure was off of him to try and steer the Tigers around the field and he could focus on contributing to what Hastings was setting up.
Losing Hastings could be a big mistake for the Tigers but Sheens has apparently made his final decision.