Jackson Hastings will return to the NRL at the end of the Super League season with Wigan’s blessing as Adrian Lam tipped the influential half-back to excel even further now his future has been resolved.
Hastings came over to the UK in July 2018 and won the following year’s Steve Prescott Man of Steel award with Salford before switching to Wigan at the start of last season.
The Great Britain international has long coveted a return to Australia, the country of his birth, and speculation about his future has now ended after it was announced he had signed a two-year deal with Wests Tigers.
While Lam acknowledged his professional disappointment at the news, the Wigan head coach insisted he was delighted for a player he brought in from the Red Devils and expects him to rise to the fore over the next few weeks.
Lam said: “He’s the ultimate competitor. You can guarantee he won’t leave anything on the field every week – and that’s training as well. I have no doubt that we’ll probably see his best rugby now over the next month or two.
“When I first heard about it there’s sadness there because he’s a player I brought to the club and a player that has been great for Super League and us, he’s been outstanding. He’s given his absolute all for this club.
“Jackson’s always wanted to go back to the NRL and play there, he’s been quite passionate about that and we’ve been supportive of that. Hopefully we can collectively as a group get some success together.
“I’m glad it’s out of the way because we can all move forward with it and prepare for what lays ahead for us. I think the players understand his situation. Jackson spoke quite clearly and I think we’re in a good place.
“We can’t dwell on the fact that Jackson won’t be here next year. We’re excited about him moving, let’s make that clear, we’re very proud of him for what he’s done for us so far, we’re very proud of him for what he’s going to give us for the rest of this year and we’re very proud of him and support him on his decision moving forward.”