When we think of Jackson Hastings at this time of year, especially the way Salford Red Devils are flying now, it’s hard not to reminisce about the role he played in two trips to the Grand Final.
Of course, he was the centre-piece of Salford’s fairytale in 2019 picking up the Man of Steel Award as he guided the written off Red Devils all the way to the Grand Final with a terrific win over Wigan to book their place at a first ever Grand Final where they sadly came unstuck against St Helens.
That was his last appearance in a Salford shirt before switching over to Wigan where he helped spark them into life after a disappointing 2019. The Warriors would end up finishing top only to lose the Grand Final by the bounce of a ball.
Of course his final Super League season wasn’t quite what he wanted as Wigan crashed out of the play-offs in week one but it was another play-off appearance for Hastings.
However, right now Hastings isn’t featuring in any rugby as the play-offs go ahead over here – with Brodie Croft inhabiting the role Hastings played for Salford back in 2019 – and down under. Now that’s due in part to Wests’ poor campaign as they again missed out on the finals, however Hastings has also been suffering with a nasty injury which looked set to prevent him from playing again in 2022.
But now Hastings has taken to Twitter to say it’s “all systems go” after he was cleared by two x-rays.
He said: “Four week and six week x-rays both come back clean, she’s now all systems go.
“Light at the end of the tunnel. Hard work continues.”
Hastings has been open about his ambition to play for England having played for Great Britain in 2019. When asked if he’s expecting to feature for England in the World Cup, Hastings said “if I get selected I’ll be good to go.”
It does beg the question, will Shaun Wane pick Hastings? Against the Combined Nations he went with George Williams – who has struggled at Warrington in 2022 – and young Jack Welsby in the halves but Jonny Lomax of St Helens would surely be a certainty for one of those spots in the tournament.