Having Jackson Hastings is Super League’s gain

Salford chief executive Ian Blease has praised Man of Steel Jackson Hastings, and says his presence is Super League’s gain.

Hastings, 23, was crowned the best player in the competition at an awards ceremony on Sunday night and he could still end the season with a Grand Final winners ring, having led underdogs Salford to Old Trafford.

Blease said: “We signed him when we were in the relegation fight. He’s been great for the club.

“Hard to single out one person but the fans love him, he’s a great guy and a tremendous player.”

By his own admission, Hastings was on the scrapheap when Salford move for him, discarded by Manly Sea Eagles after a fall-out with Daly Cherry-Evans and Trent Barrett.

But he has rebuilt his reputation by helping to lead the Red Devils to an unlikely Grand Final against St Helens, one of the greatest underdog stories in Super League history, ahead of his move to Wigan for 2020 on a two-year deal.

A return to the NRL in future looks almost certain, though that hasn’t stopped the likeable half-back putting his hand up to represent Great Britain this autumn, qualifying through his English grandmother, six years after being selected to represent Australian Schoolboys.

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