Hastings close to making decision on future

Jackson Hastings is unsure if he will stay at Wigan for the final year of his two-year contract as he could use an opt-out clause that would see him make a return to Australia and the NRL.

Last Updated: 06/11/20 11:26pm

Jackson Hastings will decide his future soon
Jackson Hastings will decide his future soon

Wigan playmaker Jackson Hastings says he is likely to make a decision on his future early next week.

The 2019 Man of Steel addressed the speculation after helping the Warriors overcome Huddersfield 19-6 in the last match of the regular Super League season at Headingley to claim the League Leaders’ Shield for the first time since 2012.

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Wigan beat Huddersfield 19-6 to win their first League Leaders Shield in eight years.
Wigan beat Huddersfield 19-6 to win their first League Leaders Shield in eight years.

Wigan were being held 6-6 after an hour but Hastings grabbed hold of the game, forcing his way over for the try that broke the deadlock and three minutes later putting in a kick for Zak Hardaker to score the winner.

Hastings, who wrapped up the scoring with a drop goal, is in the first season of a two-year deal with the Warriors after moving from Salford but has an opt-out clause in his contract that would enable him to secure a return to the NRL this year.

Asked if he would be at the Super League club in 2021, Hastings told Sky Sports: “I’m not sure, honestly.

“I wanted to get this game out of the way, this game was really important to me.

“I probably would have put it aside again if we had lost because we would have had to play next week.

“I’ve got some deep thinking to do. I think I know what I want to do, I think I know what my heart is telling me to do.

“I’ll probably FaceTime my agent tonight, then FaceTime my mum, my step-dad, the rest of my family and get a gauge of what they think is best for me and my future. Hopefully by the start of next week I’ll come to a decision.”

Wigan Warriors coach Adrian Lam (R) and Thomas Leuluai poses with the 2020 League Leaders Shield
Wigan Warriors coach Adrian Lam (R) and Thomas Leuluai poses with the 2020 League Leaders Shield

Adrian Lam, who picked up his first trophy as Wigan coach, admits the Australian half-back has become a major player for the club.

“Jackson has been doing some great stuff for us,” Lam said. “He’s played a big part in where we are tonight.

“He’s had a really strong season. I personally think he’s played better than last year. “

It was a fitting way for Hastings’ half-back partner Thomas Leuluai to mark his 300th game for the club as Wigan denied arch rivals St Helens top spot to earn a week off and a home tie in the play-off semi-finals in a fortnight’s time.

But they were forced to do it the hard way after Huddersfield went toe-to-toe with them for an hour.

“I anticipated it would be close,” Lam said. “We always have difficult games against Huddersfield. If you look at their form, if they’ve lost, they haven’t lost by much and we talked about that.

“There was a little bit of nerves in the dressing room at half-time but I thought the longer the game went, the better we got.”

Huddersfield drew level before half-time with a try from Sam Wood but their gallant efforts were ultimately in vain as they ended the season with five straight defeats under caretaker coach Luke Robinson.

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Huddersfield interim head coach Luke Robinson was disappointed with their second half performance as they lost to Wigan in their final game of the Super League season.
Huddersfield interim head coach Luke Robinson was disappointed with their second half performance as they lost to Wigan in their final game of the Super League season.

“We showed a lot of grit and determination,” Robinson said. “I thought the effort was incredible.

“We got in an arm wrestle and fell out of it again. When you have so many narrow loses, your confidence ebbs away and it becomes a habit.”

Despite being down to his last 18 fit players, however, Robinson will keep his team on stand-by for the play-offs in the event that any of the six teams to finish above them are struck down by Covid.

“We need to prepare like we’re going to be in it,” he said. “With everything that’s gone on this year, you never know.”

Source : Sky Sports