2010 NRL Premiership winning half-back Jamie Soward believes Jackson Hastings is one of the buys of the season.
He made two Grand Finals with both Salford and the Warriors during his time in the Super League. He initially made the move in 2018 to the AJ Bell Stadium.
His form in England saw him earn a call-up to Great Britain by then-boss Wayne Bennett for their tour Down Under in 2019.
He led the Red Devils to their first ever Grand Final in 2019, winning the Man of Steel award in the same season.
Hastings has been vital in Wests Tigers’ two wins of 2022 so far. He kicked the winning drop-goal against Parramatta Eels, claiming their first win of the season. He was also a part of their close 25-24 win over South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Soward won the NRL Premiership in 2010 with St George and represented New South Wales in State of Origin 2011.
The former Penrith Panthers man believes Hastings has been one of the transfers of the season.
Jamie Soward on Jackson Hastings’ transformation
Soward told Love Rugby League: “Jackson Hastings’ transformation for me has been one of the most enjoyable things to sit back and watch.
“I think that the way that he handled the situation when he left the NRL, went over there (England), didn’t kick stones and gave himself to the community of Salford and they received him really well off the back of that which made him grow into that man he is today.
“He had success there at Salford and Wigan. I’ve really enjoyed watching Jackson transform into the man that he is today.
“From his playing style, I think early on from when I watched him at the Roosters, he was a bit of a make it up as you go, happy-go-lucky sort of kid.
“He could come up with some amazing things but still didn’t know what 80 minutes of rugby looked like. You watch him in Super League, a switch was flicked. He just became this magnet and transferable energy to everyone around the team and they responded to everything that he did.
“He’s had the last two weeks in the number seven jersey at Wests Tigers. Luke Brooks is a good player who is probably more of a ball runner and less of a thinker.
“Jackson can see the game and see where he wants to be and where he wants to end up. I had the chance to call him on Saturday night on radio. I said the easiest difference for me is that Luke Brooks probably asks you to get into position, whereas Jackson Hastings demands it.”
Soward: Jackson Hastings is up there with Adam Reynolds as the buy of the year
He continued: “He is up there with Adam Reynolds as the buy of the year and something that the Wests Tigers and Luke Brooks have needed.
“He’s a cool cat, too. I love everything he’s done. He’s a great follow on social media because of all the charity work and everything he’s done.”
Jamie Soward is the next guest on the Love Rugby League podcast, coming out this Wednesday.