Jackson Hastings has shown his quality on the field again and again over the last few years.
The halfback arrived at Salford Red Devils in 2018 with something to prove and prove it he did by guiding the club away from relegation with a brilliant Middle 8s campaign.
The Red Devils were then able to tie him down for 2019 and it was one of the best decisions the club has ever made.
He led them to a record third place finish and even to an unlikely Grand Final where they came short against St Helens.
This came after he had been crowned Man of Steel. After that he made the move to Wigan Warriors allowing the club to leap over St Helens in the league and claim the League Leaders’ Shield in 2020 however he again suffered Frand Final heartache as the Warriors lost 8-4 to the Saints thanks to a bounce of the ball.
After 2021, he left the Warriors for Wests Tigers. The club struggled in 2022 but three of their four wins came with Hastings at seven.
Despite this, new boss and former Hull KR coach Tim Sheens has put his faith in Luke Brooks allowing Hastings to join Newcastle Knights in a swap deal which allowed David Klemmer to join the Tigers.
Many believe this is a stroke of genius from the Knights not only because of what he will bring on the field but off the field.
Australian publication ZeroTackle has claimed this is the case as Hastings is set to bring maturity to the club off the field despite his “misguided” time in the NRL previously.
“Jackson Hastings brings a host of quality assets to the table for the Newcastle Knights, however it’s what the halfback brings off the field that the struggling club needs the most maturity.
“After being released by the Wests Tigers, Hastings’ three-year deal with Newcastle could prove to be their most valuable signing in years, not only handing the club a quality half, but a leader, something they need now more than ever.
“The 26-year-old will be one of the first to tell you that he wasn’t where he needed to be mentally when he departed the NRL midway through the 2018 season, his ego outweighing his talent, eventually leading to player riffs and in-fighting that kicked him all the way to Salford.
“It was there, just a couple miles outside of Manchester, that Hastings made the leap from a ‘talented yet misguided youngster’ to a ‘level-headed and mature halfback’, winning the Super League’s Dally M equivalent, the Man of Steel, as he learnt more than just football in his three-and-a-half year English stint.”