Wigan Warriors’ new signing Cade Cust is undaunted by having to fill Jackson Hastings’ shoes at the DW Stadium or being installed as equal favourite for the 2022 Man of Steel award by the bookmakers.
Cust is leaving NRL club Manly Sea Eagles to join the Cherry and Whites and is set to play in the halves in Super League.
The 23-year-old played alongside Hastings in reserve grade in Australia and is excited by the prospect of following in his footsteps at Wigan.
“I actually played in the NSW Cup with Jacko at Manly,” Cust told League Express.
“I was in the halves with him and I had a season with him. He’s done really well. I want to emulate what he’s done over there and make a name for myself.
“One of my mates sent it to me [being Man of Steel favourite]; it’s funny to look at but I guess I want to go over there and win games.
“I want to win trophies and whatever happens outside of that is a bonus. It’s always good to have a bit of pressure. I like it, I think I thrive off it a bit.”
Cust has played in the halves as a junior but mostly at hooker in the NRL. Now, however, he has set his sights on being a playmaker at the Warriors.
“I want to be a 6, a running 6,” he said. “I’ve been a controller throughout my juniors but then being behind Daly Cherry-Evans I’ve taken a back seat and focused more on my running game.
“I think that’s what I want to take to Wigan, along with the ability to control a team and get them around the park. I want to be in the halves in that six position.”
The halfback’s deal to come to Super League was finalised in just a few days and Cust says he has always wanted to play in the UK.
“I got a message one morning from my manager asking if I’d be interested in going to Wigan,” he explained.
“I said I’d have to speak to my family but I thought I’d really enjoy it. I spoke to them and that night I was on a Zoom call with Kris (Radlinski), Matt (Peet) and Shaun (Wane), and it happened that quickly.
“All of sudden we had a contract and that was signed within three days. I watch a lot of Rugby League, a lot of Super League and NRL. I know Wigan are very successful, so as soon as I heard from a big club like that I wanted to go over there. It’s a good opportunity.”
Cust hails from the Hunter region and has spent his whole career at Manly. The stand-off lived with former Wigan star Matthew Johns when he first moved to Sydney and he will arrive in the UK with recommendations from both Johns and ex-Warriors halfback Trent Barrett.
“Kris and a few of the coaches reached out to him to ask him about me and what I’m like as a person,” he said.
“That’s why everything happened so fast. I want to go over there and make a difference. That’s what the new coaching staff want – they want someone who’s going to be competitive and a winner.”
The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.