Jackson Hastings says his focus is on Wigan Warriors for 2020 Super League season
By PA Media
Last Updated: 15/01/20 11:27am
Jackson Hastings insists he will not be thinking about the release clause in his Wigan Warriors contract as he prepares to embark on the next stage of his Super League career.
The 2019 Man of Steel has joined the former champions on a two-year contract from Salford Red Devils, but has an option to leave halfway through if he secures an option to return to the NRL.
But the 24-year-old former Sydney Roosters and Manly Sea Eagles half-back, who is the Warriors' replacement marquee player after George Williams joined Canberra Raiders, is adamant that will be the last thing on his mind in 2020.
"In the exact same way as at Salford, all my energy and motivation is with Wigan," Hastings said at Wigan's pre-season media day.
"On the back of playing well, contract offers are always going to come in for people that are off contract or have clauses in their contract as I do.
"When the time comes to deal with them, I'll deal with them. I'm in no rush to run back to Australia and try get an NRL deal or just go back for the sake of it. I'm not going to go back to say I played in the NRL again, that would just be pointless - I would be back at square one.
"I want to be the best athlete and the best player I can be and, if that means staying at Wigan for one, two or three years, that's what it means. I just want to play well for Wigan and see where it takes me."
The comments will be sweet music to the ears of Wigan fans who may have been alarmed at reports during the off-season that the player was having "cold feet" about the move.
"The funniest thing about it was we were planning my return as the rumours came out," Hastings said. "At the end of the day, I signed a contract and I'm a man of my word, I was always going to come back."
Hastings, who enjoyed a six-week break back in Sydney in the close season, enjoyed a remarkable first full season in Super League, playing a key role in helping the Red Devils go all the way to the Grand Final.
He accepts he will no longer be a "big fish in a small pond" at Wigan, but added he has always been a team player first and foremost.
"I know why people use that term, but the way I play I demand the footy anyway," Hastings said. "I'm always involved.
"It's relatable because there's so many good players here. I think anyone coming in would be a smaller fish in a bigger pond but it's not about me, it's about the team, it always has been."