Harry Smith: Wigan Warriors don't need to sign Jackson Hastings replacement
Harry Smith wants to prove to Wigan they don’t need to look elsewhere for Jackson Hastings’ replacement.
The academy-graduate has signed a new four-year deal with the Warriors.
And Smith, 21, hopes his performances over the coming weeks will convince the Warriors he is ready to become a first-choice starting halfback when Hastings returns to the NRL at the end of this year.
“That’s my aim this year, to get more starting spots and grow into next year,” said Smith.
“And if that (halfback) spot is available I can make it mine, with my performances this year and show I’m ready to do that.
“That’s my aim for the rest of this season.”
Hastings’ decision has already sparked discussions among fans about whether Wigan will bring in a replacement halfback, and coach Adrian Lam suggested executive director Kris Radlinski will get a call “every day for the next six months” from agents.
Wigan's other first-choice half, Thomas Leuluai, may hang up the boots although injured Jai Field is on board for 2022 and prefers to play No.6.
Smith says it was an easy decision to sign a new deal, with his previous contract running until the end of this year.
“When I spoke to the coaches, I could see the pathway was available to me,” said the Widnes youngster and ex-Wigan St Judes junior. “There was no hesitation or looking elsewhere. I wanted to get it done so I can focus on getting in the team this year.”
Wigan return to the DW Stadium on Thursday evening to face an in-form Castleford side, in a match which should see Australian livewire Bevan French play his first match of the year.
“He can create something out of nothing, it’ll be a great boost for us having him back,” added Smith.