Rumours have emerged in recent weeks surrounding the future of Manly Sea Eagles’ half back Jackson Hastings’ NRL future and, as Channel 9 have suggested Down Under, a move to Super League could now be on the cards.
Head coach Trent Barrett – the man of former Wigan Warriors affiliation – has placed Hastings in the reserve grade such is the mood against the 22 year old from his Sea Eagles team mates. It has been reported that the former Sydney Rooster has been involved in multiple fights at Manly and it was Barrett’s consultation with his squad which led to his expulsion from the first grade side, playing for Blacktown Workers in the second team. The bad publicity from the whole situation has put off NRL clubs from swooping to rescue the Wollongong-born stand off and a Super League switch looks much more probable.
He wouldn’t be the first NRL bad boy to end up pulling on a Super League jersey with Ben Barba, a shoe in for the competition’s Man of Steel, and Catalans recent recruit Kenny Edwards being just two that come to mind. While his family are contemplating legal action against the club following the negative effect their attempts to get rid of Hastings on his career, a move to Super League for a few years to resurrect his career is believed to be appealing to him.
Of the teams who may be interested in him, the likes of St Helens may be interested in the talented half back should Barba leave and Jonny Lomax move back to the number one spot. Leeds Rhinos, currently unsure of Joel Moon’s future beyond this season, are another possibility but it remains to be seen whether Brian McDermott and Gary Hetherington would want to take on the baggage that seems to come with Hastings’ acquisition – something which would also apply to Saints. Catalans, then, despite their recent signing of Josh Drinkwater, may be looking for a more long term answer to their problems in the halves over recent months and coach Steve McNamara clearly is confident in dealing with the troubled souls of rugby league as indicated from the signature of Edwards.
It will certainly be interesting to see where the Australian ends up. A man who seems to be remarkably talented, perhaps leaving the goldfish bowl of the NRL in favour of Super League rugby would benefit his career further.