Wigan in no doubt about Jackson

Wigan have reiterated that Jackson Hastings is coming to the club as planned in 2020, despite there remaining genuine concerns over the Man of Steel’s status with the Warriors.

A report in the national press earlier this month suggested Hastings was having second thoughts about taking up his bumper two-year deal with Wigan, and League Express understands there are concerns behind closed doors that Hastings is unsure about whether to take up his deal, with aspects of the contract signed between the parties believed to be the issue.

However, the Warriors are confident that he will honour his deal.

Warriors coach Adrian Lam echoed that train of thought last week. Lam told local media in Wigan: “I met with him in New Zealand when I was over there with the Kangaroos and he’s really excited about coming to the club. He sat down with the Wigan boys and had a good chat.

“Obviously he’s having a break now with his family in Australia. I know it’s been in the media, but from my side of things and the club’s perspective, we’re expecting him at training on January 3. He knows his starting date, I’m expecting him here then and on my behalf I’m looking forward to having him here.”

The prospect of Hastings taking up another Super League deal, as has been reported elsewhere, however, is unlikely. His salary at Wigan would price him out of any move to another English club at this stage, strengthening the likelihood of him coming to Wigan in 2020 as planned.

Meanwhile, Warriors owner Ian Lenagan has admitted he would like to see more transparency in relation to the RFL’s dealings with Bradford Bulls.

The governing body’s relationship with the Bulls, dating back to the purchase of the Odsal lease in 2012, is on the agenda at the annual Council meeting on Tuesday, after several lower-league clubs expressed their concerns, in particular about the role of former RFL chief executive Nigel Wood.

And Lenagan has echoed those thoughts, saying: “Do I think an inquiry is necessary? I’m not sure who would do it, but I certainly think there is a need for transparency that is not there currently in terms of money that has gone into Bradford, the stadium and everything. It’s a bit of a festering sore, I think, and it would be important and good to get it cleared up.”

He continued: “The complexity and situation surrounding the RFL acquiring the lease certainly is peculiar,” he said.

“I understand the scepticism surrounding it. The whole issue of conflict of interest does make things difficult here, but I have experienced those difficulties with the EFL in the past due to my involvement in other businesses. Nigel knows a lot about rugby and he was in a strong position at the RFL – though I’m not suggesting he was a party to anything that’s happened. Some of the things that have occurred there are unfortunate, but it’s been a mess for seven or eight years now.”

© League Express (Mon 16th Dec 2019)