Man of Steel makes huge call on NRL future

He will come home eventually but NRL clubs wanting Australia's Wigan halfback Jackson Hastings may have to wait another year.

Several Aussie clubs have inquired about the availability of Hastings, who comes off contract in England after this season.

Hastings, still only 24, is in talks with Wigan about re-signing and could also attract interest from Hull FC.

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Jackson Hastings has turned his career around at Wigan.
Jackson Hastings has turned his career around at Wigan.

 

New Zealand Warriors expressed a desire to sign Hastings mid-year with his manager, Sam Ayoub, saying clubs are regularly asking when the former Dragons, Roosters and Sea Eagles playmaker would return to the NRL.

Hastings is enjoying Super League and - while wanting an eventual return to Australia - looks certain to remain in England for at least another season.

"Jacko is really enjoying his footy and time over there and it's showing in the footy he is delivering," Ayoub said.

"You don't win the Man of Steel (English equivalent to Dally M Medal) by such a large margin last year if you're not 'braining it'.

"And no doubt he will be right up there again this year. His stats are off the charts.

"I think, at this stage, he is keen to have another year over there and that's what I have said to clubs who have come to us. We will play it by ear - there is certainly no rush.

Jackson Hastings has played for three NRL clubs.
Jackson Hastings has played for three NRL clubs.

"There is still a lot of potential activity to happen here. He is weighing things up.

"I've got all the time in the world for 'Jacko'. I just want what is best for him. I think he may stay for at least another year. People forget he only turned 24 this year."

This week, Hastings was named in the Sky Sports Super League team of the week.

His appraisal read: "The reigning Man of Steel was at the heart of things for Wigan as they kept up their pursuit of the Super League leaders with a 58-12 win over Salford Red Devils.

"Hastings scored a try, assisted another, provided two break assists and made two tackle busts, along with carrying for 76 metres."

The son of Eastern Suburbs legend Kevin, Jackson endured a tumultuous NRL career with dramas following him from St George Illawarra to Sydney Roosters and then Manly.

Hastings has even made his international debut.
Hastings has even made his international debut.

Earlier this month, Hastings, clearly enjoying his time overseas, tweeted: "Rugby league. Maddest rollercoaster ever, that's why we love it."

Hastings previously played for Salford and represented Great Britain last year. His tenure at Brookvale ended badly when banished to play reserve grade with Blacktown Workers.

Meanwhile, Wigan coach Adrian Lam is expected to start contract extension discussions with the Warriors shortly.

Lam is off contract after this season and remains unsigned for 2021, despite his Wigan side running second on the Super League competition table.

A former Queensland State of Origin halfback, Adrian is the father of rising Sydney Roosters halfback, Lachlan.

Lachlan's path to the NRL next season may be a little easier given halfback Kyle Flanagan has been released by the Roosters to join Canterbury.

Originally published as Man of Steel makes huge call on NRL future


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