Jackson Hastings is set to head into his second NRL season following his return to Australia after his successful Super League stint but he still keeps a keen eye on the league that he loves.
Hastings signed with Salford Red Devils in 2018 and transformed the club as they went on an unbelievable march to the Grand Final in the 2019 campaign.
His performances earned him a Man of Steel award and a contract with Wigan Warriors before his return to the NRL.
Starting afresh at Newcastle Knights this year he’s set to link up with young English World Cup star Dom Young and will be joined in 2024 by both Kai Pearce-Paul and Will Pryce.
He told James Graham’s podcast about how special both players are before revealing a concern for what could come in the future of Super League.
“Will is a huge kid too, obviously Leon was a massive body but Will is just scratching the surface of what he can be.
“It’s like looking in the mirror watching Leon play back in the back, he’s just an unbelievable talent but he will definitely fit in somewhere.
“You’ve also got Kai Pearce-Paul who’s another outstanding young English talent who’s going to be a massive part of our side too.”
Hastings then spoke on what could be a motivating factor for this worrying loss of young English stars from the competition.
“Money isn’t everything but it can almost be everything for a young kid who would be on maybe £50,000,” the 27-year-old reasoned.
“Minimum wage here is $150,000 and I know you’ve got to convert it but your contract as a kid is obviously only going to go up. If you come from a single parent home, like Kai does for example, it’s life-changing money for not only himself but his mother and family.
“I’m on the same side as you and want to see superstar talent stay in Super League because I care about that competition so deeply, but at the same time the players have got to do what is best for themselves to.
“The more talent we can get staying in Super League the better English rugby league is going to be going forward as well.”