Written by Joshua Dean
NRL clubs are always on the lookout for young, talented halves that can help lead their side around the park.
Preferably these players have gone through the grades and then go on to have successful career. However, Jackson Hastings has not gone down the traditional route.
At just 25 years of age, Hastings has played for four clubs, two in the NRL and two in Super League. Whilst this isn’t an ideal start to a career, Hastings time in England has seen him mature not only as a player, but also as a person.
By now, most people have heard the reports that the Wests Tigers are interested in signing him immediately, but other clubs should most certainly keen as well. The former Sydney Roosters half would be a quality signing for many NRL clubs, particularly those that lack depth in the halves.
Hastings has been in stellar form in Super League for Salford and more recently, Wigan. His eight tries and 36 try assists in 2019 for Salford helped him guide the Red Devils to their first ever grand final and saw hims win the prestigious Man of Steel award the same year.
His 2020 season with Wigan saw him – in a shortened season – score nine tries and get 18 try assists in only 18 appearances. Obviously Super League is more known for attacking rugby league than defensive, however the absolute class he has shown in just a few seasons proves Hastings is capable of a starting gig in the NRL.
The amount of experience he has at such a young age is also a vital reason why he will benefit any NRL team. The Wollongong native has played 109 games in both leagues and even represented Great Britain on four occasions.
Wests Tigers desperately want him to replace either Luke Brooks or Adam Doueihi. This signing makes a lot of sense and would be a smart signing for the Tigers. However, after losing Chanel Harris-Tavita for 12 weeks, the New Zealand Warriors would love to have a player like Hastings to fill the void. It’s a low risk, high reward situation, which could see Hastings potentially replace off-contract Kodi Nikorima if he plays better.
The Tigers are looking a lot more likely, however the Warriors or even another club could emerge as a potential suitor for the star halfback.