Why Jackson Hastings will thrive with Wigan Warriors

Jackson Hastings has impressed for Salford. Picture: SWPix
Jackson Hastings has impressed for Salford. Picture: SWPix

Wigan have landed a “winner” in Jackson Hastings.

That is the view of ex-Warrior Greg Burke, who currently plays alongside the Australian halfback at Salford.

Adrian Lam has made no secret of his pursuit of Hastings, who he worked with in the Sydney Roosters junior ranks.

And it is understood Wigan have beaten off competition from Leeds and the Red Devils to secure his services for 2020 as replacement for Canberra-bound George Williams, though neither deal has been confirmed.

“He’s a great player,” said Burke, who played at hometown club Wigan in 2013, ‘14 and '16.

“He’s a winner – that’s the main thing.

“He’s got class which can win a game, and a running game which makes him an attacking threat.

“But it’s his competitiveness that makes him the player he is. He’ll fight for everything, he chases back, he’s always going to give 100 per cent.

“We don’t want him going anywhere because what he gives you is confidence.”

Warriors have long been reported to be favourite to land Hastings for next year.

Club owner Ian Lenagan even hinted at the prospect of Hastings playing in the Cherry and White when he wrote in his programme notes: “(I’ve) no doubt our fans will be keeping a close eye on him.”

His capture may see Williams’ move to Canberra finally be confirmed after months of silence from all parties.

It is unclear whether Hastings has signed for one year or longer, given his desire to re-establish himself in the NRL after his acrimonious split from Manly a year ago.

Wigan have already signed Hastings’ Salford team-mate Jake Bibby for next year.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils’ assistant coach Martin Gleeson - a Grand Final hero for Wigan in 2010 – will leave later this week to switch codes and join Wasps as an attack coach.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him, he’s brilliant,” said head coach Ian Watson.

“I’ve been with him four or five years and the way he looks at the game, the detail, is really smart.

“They’ve got a great coach, I didn’t want to lose him but that’s rugby, that’s life, and when you get these opportunities people have look at what’s best for them and their families.

“But he’s going to be a big, big loss for us.”