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“Shed endless tears over the last 48 hours” – Jackson Hastings reflects on his time in England

Since arriving in the UK at the back end of 2018, Jackson Hastings has been one of the best players in Super League.

The scrum-half almost single-handedly saved Salford from relegation at the end of that campaign before he began writing one of the greatest fairytales in Super League history.

Despite being second favourites for relegation at the start of the season, Hastings and his Salford team shocked the league with an outstanding campaign which saw them claim third spot in the table.

Hastings was subsequently awarded with the Man of Steel but that wasn’t the end of their remarkable journey. The Red Devils, having lost to Wigan in week one of the play-offs, came back to the DW Stadium after beating Castleford at home, and totally outplayed the Warriors to book their place in a first ever Grand Final.

The fairytale didn’t have the desired end as St Helens won a sixth Super League title with a 23-6 triumph over Salford, but it was a journey no one will ever forget, especially Hastings himself.

In 2020, he joined Wigan and lifted the Warriors up another level so that they could match St Helens at the top. They pipped their rivals to the League Leaders’ Shield but more Grand Final misery would befall Hastings as Jack Welsby won the Super League title for Saints with the last play of the season.

With the Super League trophy still alluding him, he was set to play one more season in the UK this year with many tipping the Warriors to go one better than the previous season. But a difficult campaign for Wigan saw them struggle to score points and slump to fourth before an 8-0 defeat to Leeds in the play-offs ended Hastings’ Super League career.

Now headed back to Australia, Hastings has once again reflected on his time in England. He initially admitted his reluctance to come to the UK in the first place before explaining just how sad he is to be leaving after endearing himself to Wigan and Salford supporters.

He took to Twitter to say: “Got on a plane as a 22-year-old kid three and a half years ago not wanting to come to the UK. Now as a 25-year-old man reluctantly leaving some life long friends/family behind. Shed endless tears over the last 48 hours, been one hell of a ride. Thank you to every single person who played a part.”

Hastings will now join Wests Tigers next year alongside Wigan teammate Oliver Gildart.

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