NRL clubs target Hastings

Jackson Hastings is the subject of interest from two NRL clubs.

New Zealand Warriors and Canterbury Bulldogs are understood to have both expressed an interest in the reigning Man Of Steel, with the Warriors ready to offer him a deal.

The Wigan halfback has an NRL-clause in his contract that allows him to return to the competition next year should he wish to do so.

It appears he will have that opportunity, with the Warriors particularly keen to sign the 24-year-old for 2021 and it’s believed they have tabled an offer to the Wigan ace.

He has been primed as a replacement for the former Wigan halfback Blake Green. The veteran is off-contract at the end of the season and turns 34 in September. New Zealand international Kodi Nikorima is the Warriors’ other leading halfback.

It remains to be seen whether Hastings is keen on a move to New Zealand. While he has never made a secret of his desire to one day return to the NRL, living outside Australia may not be as appealing for him.

That’s where a move to Canterbury could be a greater attraction, though their interest does not appear to be as great as that of the Warriors.

While Lachlan Lewis is highly-rated at Belmore, their other two halfbacks, Kieran Foran and Jack Cogger, are both off-contract.

Foran has been riddled with injuries for a number of years and is on big money, leaving his future at the club in doubt.

Hastings does have another year on his Wigan deal and could well stay with the Super League giants in 2021.

Despite his desire to play NRL, he is also on record as stating that he is in no rush to return to the NRL and will only make the move when, and if, the right opportunity becomes available.

Wigan could be on the verge of a significant overhaul to their squad.

Both Thomas Leuluai and Sean O’Loughlin are off-contract and have been tipped to retire, tough O’Loughlin has suggested that he may play on next year. Ben Flower is set to join Toronto while Oliver Gildart has been linked with an NRL move after appointing leading Australian representative Sam Ayoub.

There is a release clause in Gildart’s contract if a club is prepared to make a move for him.

Joe Burgess is another high-profile player off-contract, as is Tony Clubb, while young forward Ethan Havard has attracted interest from NRL giants Melbourne Storm.