Why Jackson Hastings is a natural fit for Wigan Warriors

Zak Hardaker is convinced Jackson Hastings will be a natural fit at Wigan –  after seeing him up close in the Great Britain set-up.

Hardaker was in no doubts about the halfback’s talents.

But having trained and played alongside him for the Lions, he expects Hastings to love the culture at the club.

“Jackson’s a competitor, he wants to win, he’s 100 per cent at everything,” said Hardaker.

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“He wants everyone to be nine out of ten in training and he wants to win a competition and I think for Wigan, as a club, that’s what’s expected anyway.

“I think his hunger, desire and his will to improve will make him fit straight in, and I think the boys are looking forward to having him in.”

Wigan pride themselves on their hard culture which, Hardaker says, not all players may relish.

“There are players that go to different teams and there’s different cultures, the way they play is a bit different,” continued the full-back, Wigan’s Player of the Year last year.

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“But the willingness to win and the standards that he sets himself , that’s what we do as a club – so on that front I’m sure he’ll fit in really well.

“And then playing rugby league on a pitch, everyone’s seen how good he is, he’s a fantastic seven so that will benefit us as well.”

Hardaker returned to training earlier this week after a break following his Test duty.

“My body is a little sore but that’s pre-season for you,” said the ex-Castleford and Leeds ace. “I’ve just had 10 days in Egypt, so it was about time I came back and got some training done!”

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Hardaker was close to booking a holiday at the end of Wigan’s season when he was informed he had been selected for GB’s tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

“I put a post up on Instagram saying that’s my season done, and within an hour I got a phone call from Jamie Peacock asking if I had booked something, so I don’t know if they’d seen my post and panicked,” he said.

“It was a great trip, but we’re in an industry where performances and wins go a long way and we didn’t win any games so on that front it’s disappointing.

“Getting thumped really is not how we wanted to portray ourselves in the Great Britain team, but it is what it is.”