RL Today: Jackson Hastings opens up on mental demons, RFL asks fans on strategy & women’s worries?

Hastings’ mental demons

Jackson Hastings deserves credit for this open and honest interview with 9 News following his return to the NRL with Wests Tigers.

He revealed his mental demons and how working with a counsellor has helped him accept who he is.

“I’ve always been a bit of a loner. I still to this day don’t have many friends, I’ve got a small group of people I trust, I find it hard to let people in.

“I fight demons all the time, I have done since I was a kid.”

A brilliant interview and one that is inspirational to those of us who also struggle.

RFL strategy

The RFL have reached out to 300 fans to have their say on the governing body’s strategy leading up to 2030.

It comes following a recent nationwide survey that revealed fans feel shut out by clubs.

Newcastle’s hero

Newcastle Thunder’s club doctor Tom Pritchard was the life-saving hero at a Premier League football game at the weekend.

The match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, live on Sky Sports, was halted after a fan suffered a cardiac arrest.

Championship clubs get busy

Recruitment has ramped up amongst Championship clubs preparing for the 2022 season. Bradford full-back Brandon Pickersgill has left Odsal to join rivals Featherstone, while Matty Dawson-Jones has signed a new deal with the Bulls.

Widnes have added League 1 Young Player of the Year nominee Brad Holroyd and newly promoted Barrow have signed forward Sam Brooks.

Experienced forward Jordan Thompson, who spent last season in Super League with Leigh, has joined York.

Women’s worries?

An interesting debate has emerged following the naming of the England women’s squad for Saturday’s test against France.

Are there too many St Helens players in the squad and is it bad for the game?

10 of the 20 players are from St Helens.

For me, no? They are the best team for a reason. The women’s game is still very much in its infancy at an elite level, and it’s no surprise that the best players are concentrated among a small number of teams.

It’s up to the other clubs to bridge the gap – not for St Helens to be punished by the fact that the majority of the best players are in their system and locality.

Birthdays

Leeds-bound back-rower James Bentley turns 25 today (October 19)

Also celebrating: Infamous prop Ben Flower (34); ex-Huddersfield forward James Gavet (32)

Trivia

Jackson Hastings’ father Kevin was the Rugby League Week player of the year and Dally M half-back of the year for three consecutive seasons 1980-82 – and also spent a season in England with Barrow (1986-87)

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