Sea Eagles stars refuse to play with Hastings
MANLY players have told head coach Trent Barrett they will not play in the same team as utility Jackson Hastings, who is being shopped around for an immediate release.
It is an astonishing situation where a side is in revolt over a teammate.
Barrett will name a 21-man squad on Tuesday for Sunday's vital match against Parramatta - and Hastings will be missing.
It is almost certain Hastings will be chosen for Manly feeder club Blacktown Workers, which competes in the Intrust Super Premiership.
Unless Manly sustains further injuries to an already depleted playing roster, Hastings will not be chosen in first grade again this season. It is the sad demise of a player with substantial ability.
Club officials claim Hastings' personality does not fit the Brookvale club.
Manly has attempted to assist Hastings with counselling. Barrett is also struggling with Hastings' demeanour.
There are suggestions Hastings has "a lack of respect for senior players" and that he has been clashing recently with Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans.
The club acknowledged there was an incident between Hastings and Cherry-Evans in Gladstone last week but denied it was a fight.
Manly players have banded together against Hastings. Essentially, the players don't want him in the side, placing Barrett in an unenviable position.
The issues with Hastings have been simmering for several weeks at Brookvale.
He missed last weekend's match against Wests Tigers with an Achilles injury, but wouldn't have been chosen even if fit.
Sea Eagles officials have started talks with Hastings' manager, Sam Ayoub, about moving the young utility on to another club.
There has been some interest from the English Super League.
Asked about the Hastings drama, Manly chief executive Lyall Gorman said: "Like all players, we continue to provide an environment and culture where they can thrive.
"But at the end of the day if a player chooses not to fit into that, then you've got to make cultural decisions.
"None of those have been made in the context of Jackson at the moment."
Hastings certainly won't be at Manly next season. It means he will have had three NRL clubs by age 22.
One club insider said: "He is off with the playing group. There has been a lot of angst at training between Jackson and certain members of the playing group. This has been building up for a couple of weeks now. He just doesn't fit in here.
"There is definitely a personality issue there. It's coming across that there is a real lack of respect for senior players. This isn't a one-off."
There is no question Manly believes Hastings has ability and he has produced some stellar stints off the bench.
Manly hopes Hastings can rebound and find another NRL club. The Sea Eagles know Hastings has to leave but don't want to deny him an opportunity to continue his rugby league career.
It is a difficult decision for Manly given officials are aware they have limited player depth this season.
Hastings did have similar issues with previous clubs St George Illawarra and the Sydney Roosters.
In February this year, Hastings told the Sydney media: "I am very competitive, wear my heart on my sleeve, and it probably shows some bad traits at times with the way I handle myself in situations.
"Off-field, I am completely different and pretty approachable."
Hastings is the son of Roosters legend Kevin.