Jackson Hastings' farewell interview ahead of emotional Super League exit

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josie andrews
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Jackson Hastings' farewell interview ahead of emotional Super League exit

Post by josie andrews »

Exclusive: The half-back opens up on his unforgettable three years in England

He may look and sound exactly as he did when he first stepped off the plane three years ago in Manchester, but by his own admission, there is not much about Jackson Hastings which remains the same today.

Overseas imports often speak about the impact playing in Super League has had on them, but for Hastings, the bonds and relationships he has formed, as well as the unforgettable experiences along the way during his three years in England, have changed the outcome of his life, not just his playing career.

It is those experiences that have put Hastings in a position to have a second crack at the NRL in 2022 with Wests Tigers, but there is already a part of him that knows one day, he will return to the country which helped rebuild his very existence as a player and a person.

"Super League has given me everything, they've made me feel like a superstar when other people just didn't want me," Hastings tells Rugby League Live as he prepares to return home to Australia. "I would love to come back one day, and I could see it happening to be honest.


Obviously I'd be closer to the back end of my career, but it wouldn't be about money at all, it would be to give back and help young English kids find their way in the game. I'd love to work with young English half-backs and help them become top players and help develop the English game and spread my knowledge on the whole. It's something I could really see materialising in years to come."

It is far from ordinary to hear a player set to return to the NRL make such open remarks about coming back to Super League. But when you consider the rollercoaster ride Hastings has been on during his time in England, coupled with the deep-rooted affinity he has for the two clubs he has represented with such distinction, you can begin to understand why he is so passionate about this country.

There were times before coming here that I would have sat at home in Australia, effectively jobless, when I'd have traded lives with anyone," Hastings reveals.

"I would have been a bog-standard player without Salford taking a chance on me, playing part-time rugby with my mates on a weekend. For some people, that's good enough, but I always wanted more. I just needed a lifeline, and Salford gave me that.

To play in a Grand Final with both Salford and Wigan is something I will hold with me for the rest of my life. Of course I'd have loved to have won them both, but I am proud I got to pull the shirt on of two special rugby league clubs."

Hastings was exiled from the NRL three years ago when the Red Devils opted to take a punt on the then 22-year-old half-back. It is a love affair that has still not ended to this very day. "I understand from the Wigan point of view that it took time for people to understand why my connection with Salford is so deep," he explains.

"That club and the people there changed my life, but most importantly of all, they saved me as a person. That is genuinely true. Bleasy (Ian Blease) and Watto (Ian Watson) bent over backwards for me. I remember getting there, and I didn't have a remote for my Playstation. Watto brought me one round straight away to try and help me settle.

"I had no food in the house on the day of my first game for the club, and Ian's wife, Sally, came round and cooked for me before I went out and made my Salford debut. They didn't have to do that, I had no right to ask for or deserve any of that.

"The fans, the members, the people there.. from the day I stepped foot onto that field at the AJ Bell Stadium, I knew I would love that club for the rest of my life. Without Salford, I wouldn't get the move to Wigan, and I wouldn't get my second chance in the NRL."

But the Warriors holds just as special a place in Hastings' heart, too. "To go there and look around the walls in the gym and the stadium and appreciate you're following in the footsteps of some genuine legends is humbling," he admits. "To play with Sean O'Loughlin, Liam Farrell, Tommy Leuluai, guys who have given everything to Wigan for a long time. It takes a lot to be appreciated at a club like Wigan, and I hope I will be remembered the right way."

Few would view Hastings as anything other than a credit to himself and Super League. It is a far cry from the controversial player that arrived in this country three years ago - but how has the experience changed Hastings as a person, as well as a player?

"Worlds apart, not even in the same stratosphere," he smiles. "I still have that side to me, and I work on it every day. I have demons and yeah, sometimes I do struggle. I carry a bit around with me. But I have people now who help me with that. My partner Amelia has been incredible, and her family has taken me in. They've helped me, and the gratitude I have for help like that is something I maybe didn't possess before. It's the same with games; I will always take photos after games with fans, because I understand what they give to come and watch their team."

And now, after rebuilding his career and his life in England, Hastings has earned his second shot at the NRL with Wests. He will return a different player in the eyes of everyone who has witnessed his development in this country first-hand, but there will undoubtedly going to be some reservations from people in Australia who maybe haven't been as attentive, and dismiss Super League altogether.


https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk ... dium=email
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.
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josie andrews
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Re: Jackson Hastings' farewell interview ahead of emotional Super League exit

Post by josie andrews »

We will miss Jacko not only as a player but as the special person he has become.

This is just one of the little things he has done to make a person feel special;

https://twitter.com/debsbox/status/1439 ... 07396?s=12
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.
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medlocke
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Re: Jackson Hastings' farewell interview ahead of emotional Super League exit

Post by medlocke »

I'm still waiting to be amazed by all the games he was going to win us
(according to many fans on here and that other site)
josie andrews
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Re: Jackson Hastings' farewell interview ahead of emotional Super League exit

Post by josie andrews »

medlocke wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:44 pm I'm still waiting to be amazed by all the games he was going to win us
(according to many fans on here and that other site)
FFS! Stop with the bloody moaning! Not a good word to say about anyone! There was more than him in the team! You’re almost as bad as DaveO!
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.
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fozzieskem
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Re: Jackson Hastings' farewell interview ahead of emotional Super League exit

Post by fozzieskem »

medlocke wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:44 pm I'm still waiting to be amazed by all the games he was going to win us
(according to many fans on here and that other site)
He would have done perhaps with a coach that was competent and knew how to get the best out of him
medlocke
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Re: Jackson Hastings' farewell interview ahead of emotional Super League exit

Post by medlocke »

josie andrews wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:47 pm
medlocke wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:44 pm I'm still waiting to be amazed by all the games he was going to win us
(according to many fans on here and that other site)
FFS! Stop with the bloody moaning! Not a good word to say about anyone! There was more than him in the team!
I voted for Big Willy for player of the year and I'm
looking forward to seeing the new Aussie props and Miski
josie andrews
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Re: Jackson Hastings' farewell interview ahead of emotional Super League exit

Post by josie andrews »

medlocke wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:49 pm
josie andrews wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:47 pm
medlocke wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:44 pm I'm still waiting to be amazed by all the games he was going to win us
(according to many fans on here and that other site)
FFS! Stop with the bloody moaning! Not a good word to say about anyone! There was more than him in the team!
I voted for Big Willy for player of the year and I'm
looking forward to seeing the new Aussie props and Miski
This must be a second good word in the last 10 or 20 years! The first was when you backed down on the daily Lockers bashing 😉
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage.
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medlocke
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Re: Jackson Hastings' farewell interview ahead of emotional Super League exit

Post by medlocke »

josie andrews wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 9:36 pm
medlocke wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:49 pm
josie andrews wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:47 pm

FFS! Stop with the bloody moaning! Not a good word to say about anyone! There was more than him in the team!
I voted for Big Willy for player of the year and I'm
looking forward to seeing the new Aussie props and Miski
This must be a second good word in the last 10 or 20 years! The first was when you backed down on the daily Lockers bashing 😉
I do try Josie :D
buttmonkey2
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Re: Jackson Hastings' farewell interview ahead of emotional Super League exit

Post by buttmonkey2 »

medlocke wrote: Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:49 pm I voted for Big Willy for player of the year
Entitled to your opinion mate but his discipline at time was a disgrace and he missed a fair few games because of it.

With a side of young lions we were led by donkeys
Back by demand.
Shaun Wane Legend
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Re: Jackson Hastings' farewell interview ahead of emotional Super League exit

Post by Shaun Wane Legend »

Good luck to Mr Hastings. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching him play for Wigan. Hopefully one day he will come back to play for us. Meantime I’ll enjoy watching him in the NRL (but not against the Rabbits!) Go for it Jackson!!
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