Former Wigan Warriors and Salford Red Devils star Jackson Hastings is well qualified to talk about the ‘best coach’ in rugby league.
After enduring a difficult start to his rugby league career at the Sydney Roosters and then Manly Sea Eagles, the playmaker made the move to the Super League where he became a cult hero.
In the UK, Hastings made two Grand Finals – though he did end up losing both – before earning himself a big NRL deal with Wests Tigers.
However, he has now revealed who he thinks is the best coach in the game.
“The best coach in the game I think, I am pretty staunch on that with ‘Robbo’ (Trent Robinson), I know I got let go by the Roosters and people would think I have this mad animosity towards him,” Hastings said on the Fox League podcast.
“But he taught me so much without him even knowing that because of different situations that arose when I was there as a kid.
“So I am pretty staunch on how good of a coach Robbo is, I just think he finds a way to get the boys up for the back-end of the year, and I have seen it time and time again.
“Even last year when they had no right to go as deep into the finals as they did with all the injuries they had, and they called them the Sydney Bears towards the end of the year with the amount of reserve grade boys they had in.”
Hastings revealed a number of quirks that set Robinson apart from the rest.
“I remember the first day I ever walked into the Roosters office, and he sat all the new players down,” Hastings said.
“It was a pretty good crop at the time of myself, Willis Meehan, Johnathan Reuben, Sio Siua Taukeiaho.
“He gave us all a massive bit of paper of a field, cut up into numbers all down the park so you had the 10-metre line, 20-metre line, the whole field and where every player should stand metreage wise on every single line.
“He expected us to know that by Christmas time, so if we were on the field, for example he’d say to me, you are in the wrong position where you should be, I should be able to say 28-metres.
“If I got it wrong, I’d go and sit and do video with him until I nail it.
“Just how meticulous he is with his preparation, and just I think the way he speaks… from an outsider looking in it is so deliberate, he knows what he wants, he knows what type of player he wants to play for the club.”
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