Wigan Warriors' Cade Cust tipped to be the perfect Jackson Hastings replacement

Wigan Warriors’ latest arrival Cade Cust has been tipped to be the perfect replacement for Jackson Hastings – and a future Man of Steel contender.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 4:55 am
Cade Cust has been tipped for great things

That’s according to respected Australian journalist Wilson Smith, who saw plenty of Cust’s potential during his time with Manly in the NRL.

Cust, 23, arrived in England before Christmas, after signing a two-year deal back in November, and Smith, who writes for Telegraph Sport, will be watching his progress from the other side of the world with great interest.

“While we didn’t get to see a lot of Cust in his time at the Sea Eagles, what we did see should have Wigan fans excited for 2022,” he said.

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“He mostly played hooker or as a bench utility player for Manly in 2021, and I was impressed by his speed out of dummy half and ability to break tackles.

“In saying that, I think his best position is at five-eighth, where he’s scored and set up some very impressive tries.

“If he runs the ball more, I’m sure he can be an excitement machine in Super League.

“He has plenty of pace, the ability to cover the halves, and should be a handy replacement for Jackson Hastings if he gets a starting spot.”

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Cust made his NRL debut in 2019, as he made an immediate impact filling in while Manly were struggling with injuries.

“He burst onto the scene, scoring tries and setting them up,” said Smith. “Unfortunately, he just couldn’t get consistent game time.

“While there were lots to like from him, he just couldn’t get on the field enough due to the competition for spots.

“But I think he was held in high regard by the Sea Eagles, who I’m sure would have liked to keep him.

“He managed to score some pretty impressive tries in his time there, including an impressive put-down against the (Newcastle) Knights in 2020.

"As part of his release, Manly hold the option to sign him first should he decide to return to the NRL, so I think that goes to show how much he was valued.”

Smith believes this is an important move for Cust’s career – and predicts he’ll take advantage of his big chance to step up.

“As much as I’m sure he would have loved to stay at Manly, a change in scenery is probably the best thing for his career since he’s still young,” Smith added.

“We only saw limited glimpses of him in the NRL, but there was a lot to like there. With some more consistent game time, he could be a star in Super League.

“I actually see a lot of Jackson Hastings in Cust’s game, and a move to England really brought the best out in him.

“I don’t want to jinx Cust before the season has even started, but I really think he could be in for a big year.

“I think his game will really suit Super League and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up in the conversation to be Man of Steel in the coming years.”

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