Former Man of Steel and Great Britain representative Jackson Hastings has spoken of his desire to be seen on a bigger stage, citing that as the reason he made the switch from the Salford Red Devils to Wigan Warriors.
Speaking in a video posted by his new club, Newcastle Knights, the 2019 Man of Steel award winner talks about his time in England fondly, but states quite clearly that he moved to Wigan to put himself on the radar of NRL clubs and also to try to win a major honour.
Describing Salford as a club and place he truly cared about whilst recalling their unprecedented run to the 2019 Grand Final, he goes on to explain why he left and made the move to Wigan.
“I made a hard decision to sign for Wigan. Wigan are a massive powerhouse, massive club, not only in England it’s known well in Australia,” Hastings explains.
“I wanted to win a comp so I thought my best chance to win a comp was at Wigan and I also wanted to be in a position where I was gonna be on TV nearly every week,” reasoned Hastings before explaining that playing for a “massive club”, as he calls Wigan, would give him “a chance to be in the shop window as well.”
Hastings recalls his two Grand Final losses and references the infamous last minute Jack Welsby try that had been pounced on after a missed drop goal.
He speaks of particular pride regarding his caps for Great Britain under Wayne Bennett, but ultimately references that seeing players of a similar age to him playing so well in the NRL made him want to return to Australia.
“Watching boys my age playing in the NRL killing it, playing State of Origin. It just sort of lit that fire for me, you know I need to make something of myself because I’m just throwing away this talent I’ve got.” recounts Hastings, also referencing that he didn’t want to be that “bloke sitting in a pub beating himself up” for not capitalising on his opportunities.
Hastings played only a year at Wests Tigers, who finished bottom of the 2022 NRL, but has made the move to Newcastle Knights to join England star Dom Young among others.