Hastings in no rush to return to NRL

By Ian Laybourn

Jackson Hastings insists he will not be thinking about the release clause in his Super League contract as he prepares for life with new club Wigan.

The 2019 Man of Steel has joined the 2018 champions on a two-year contract from Salford but has an option to leave if he secures a deal with an NRL team.

But the 24-year-old, who is the Warriors' replacement marquee player for the departed George Williams, says that will be the last thing on his mind in 2020.

"In the exact same way as at Salford, all my energy and motivation is with Wigan," Hastings said at Wigan's pre-season media day.

"On the back of playing well, contract offers are always going to come in for people that are off contract or have clauses in their contract as I do.

"When the time comes to deal with them, I'll deal with them. I'm in no rush to run back to Australia and try get an NRL deal or just go back for the sake of it.

"I'm not going to go back to say I played in the NRL again, that would just be pointless, I would be back at square one.

"I want to be the best athlete and the best player I can be and, if that means staying at Wigan for one, two or three years, that's what it means.

"I just want to play well for Wigan and see where it takes me."

The comments will be sweet music to the ears of Wigan fans who may have been alarmed at reports that the player was having cold feet about the move.

"The funniest thing about it was we were planning my return as the rumours came out," Hastings said.

"At the end of the day, I signed a contract and I'm a man of my word. I was always going to come back."

Hastings, who enjoyed a six-week break back in Sydney in the off-season season, enjoyed a remarkable first full season in Super League.

He was key in helping the unfashionable Red Devils reach the grand final, and it made him an irresistible selection for the Great Britain tour.

And, despite defeat in all four matches, it whetted his appetite for more international honours, especially with the Kangaroos touring at the end of 2020.

"It was the proudest moment of my career to date, no doubt. I'm very proud of my English heritage," Hastings said.

"It was disappointing with the results obviously, it was gutting really to be part of team that loses and it doesn't sit well with any of the boys who were a part of it.

"If I play well for Wigan and deserve a spot in that English team, I'll wear the jersey with just as much pride. That would be special.

"The Kangaroos are the benchmark and you want to test yourself against the best people in the world."