Former Wigan Warriors and Salford Red Devils stand-off Jackson Hastings has been linked recently with a return to Salford after they lost Brodie Croft to Leeds Rhinos alongside Andy Ackers.
It was a major double coup for the eight time Super League Champions who paid £300,000 for the duo with £200,000 paid for Croft and the other £100,000 being used to sign Ackers after the hooker had requested the move after the interest emerged from the Rhinos who had been interested in the England international in 2022 but had Kruise Leeming at the time.
This leaves Salford in the need for at least one spine player, if not two. Hastings was subsequently linked with a move back to the UK with the Red Devils a place where he is something of an icon.
This is because he saved them from relegation in 2018 before guiding them to an unlikely Grand Final in 2019 as he won the Man of Steel before joining Wigan Warriors.
At Wigan, he would lead them to the League Leaders’ Shield in 2020 and they were a bounce of the ball away from Grand Final glory at Hull FC’s then KCOM Stadium.
After a disappointing 2021 from Wigan, Hastings joined Wests Tigers where he would stand out in a difficult year for the Tigers.
As Tim Sheens put his faith in Luke Brooks for 2023, Hastings was allowed to join Newcastle Knights where he would truly shine.
This is what made it surprising to see him linked with a return back to Salford but less so given his love for the club which is reciprocated.
This move now appears unlikely with Cade Cust, the man who replaced Hastings at Wigan, now set to join Salford as Croft’s replacement.
This is part of the ongoing merry-go-round of halfbacks which has also included Adam Clune leaving Newcastle behind for Huddersfield Giants.
This led to praise from Hastings who was then asked if he would return to Super League.
He said: “Not for a while” hinting at a return in the future for the former Man of Steel and showing that he is keen for one last go around in the UK.
That is most likely going to be with either Salford or Wigan.