Jackson Hastings has stressed that he will not necessarily activate the NRL release clause in his Wigan contract which would allow him to return to Australia in 2021 – adding he has no intention of definitely leaving the Warriors after one year.
The reigning Man of Steel has a well-documented agreement written into his contract which would allow him to go back to the NRL after just one season at the DW Stadium: with many expecting Hastings not to be short of offers from back home.
But Hastings has promised that he’s got no definitive plan in his head – saying he could easily stay in a country that has ‘given him everything’.
“I’m in no rush to go back,” he said. “This country has given me absolutely everything I need to be a success.
“I feel that I’ve prolonged my career and become a way better player from playing here. If an offer comes up that suits me.. but the most important thing to me and I’ve said this my whole career, is I want to be the best rugby league player I can be.
“I think coming to Wigan will give me a chance to really express myself. If no club comes for me I’m not going to be kicking stones, I’m going to be part of one of the biggest rugby league clubs in the world. I’ve got no intentions of hitting and running. It is in my contract that and I’d be silly not to look at it if it came up. But I’m in no rush to go home. I’m very proud to be part of Super League, it’s drawing more and more talent every year and getting better and better. Why wouldn’t you want to be part of it?”
Hastings has also admitted that the heartache surrounding missing out on a Grand Final with Salford last year has intensified his desire to win a major team trophy.
“I play to win that big trophy at the end of the year,” he said. “I’ve been so close a few times now – close in the NRL and fell short, then got to the Grand Final and fell short for Salford. It leaves a sour taste in your mouth but also a fire in your belly that you want to go one better and win it.
“It’s a team sport – you’ve got 40 blokes training in pre-season and busting their backsides to make the team, you go through the Challenge Cup, the trial games, to get to that ultimate prize.”