Salford coach Ian Watson says the Red Devils will have more of a cutting edge in attack now that half-back Jackson Hastings is enjoying playing the sport once again.
Hastings was formerly at the Manly Sea Eagles but was released from his contract at Brookvale Oval last year after an alleged fallout with captain Daly Cherry-Evans and coach Trent Barrett.
Since arriving in Super League, the Salford number 31 helped the club stave off the threat of relegation, before guiding them to three wins from their opening four games this campaign.
Watson hopes that Hastings can flourish in his first full season at the Red Devils and added that the 23-year old has had an extremely positive impact on the squad.
“The big one for Jackson was he was enjoying his football at the back end of the year,” he said.
“The players wanted to play with him, they wanted to be mates with him and they wanted to back him. He’s a competitor who wants to win.
“As soon as he come in through the door, the players lifted the level of expectation and the level of standards in training, so for him to remain with Salford this year is a massive plus for us.”
Hastings arrived at the AJ Bell Stadium alongside hooker and former Manly and Australian Schoolboys team-mate, Joey Lussick.
Watson, who says that the familiarity between the pair was ‘something looked at’ between himself and chief executive Ian Blease prior to the signings, admits that the combination has been a huge plus for his side so far in 2019.
He said: “We knew Rob [Lui] and Niall [Evalds] knew one another’s combinations and what we needed was a settled spine.
“We spoke about it before the Super 8s and Jacko was our main person to get in, but once we found out that Joey was able to get across we knew he’d played with him at the Roosters, Manly and Blacktown.
“We knew they had a really good relationship already so we could build on that and that was the key for getting them in.
“We just needed to combine them all together and its better putting them two relationships together. They built on it really well and it’s a massive plus for us going forward.”