Jackson Hastings was named Super League’s Man of Steel. Picture: George Wood/Getty
Jackson Hastings was named Super League’s Man of Steel. Picture: George Wood/Getty

NRL outcast completes ultimate redemption

Salford's Australian playmaker Jackson Hastings has been crowned English Super League's Man of Steel while Gold Coast Titans' new incoming mentor, Justin Holbrook, is coach of the year.

The 23-year-old former Sydney Roosters and Manly halfback, who has played a key role in the Red Devils' march to a maiden English grand final, was unveiled on Sunday in the new-look Super League awards night.

Hastings, who is the first Salford winner of an award that was first presented in 1977, was selected through a new system based on points awarded on a weekly basis by a specially-chosen panel of former players.

Replay the 2019 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final in full on KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14 day free trial and start streaming instantly >

 

Jackson Hastings was named Super League’s Man of Steel. Picture: George Wood/Getty
Jackson Hastings was named Super League’s Man of Steel. Picture: George Wood/Getty

He was level with Warrington's former Penrith and Canberra stand-off Blake Austin when the votes were closed off to the public after round 22 and he went on to produce a strong end to the season to help Salford claim a third-place finish.

Also on the five-man short list were ex-Penrith Panther and North Queensland Cowboy Lachlan Coote (St Helens), Liam Watts (Castleford) and George Williams (Wigan).

The prestigious award completes a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Hastings, who arrived in England under a cloud in July 2018 following a series of off-field issues.

He has turned around his life in such spectacular fashion that he quickly became a much sought-after player and he will join Wigan on a two-year contract after Saturday's grand final against St Helens.

 

Jackson Hastings’ NRL exit was controversial to say the least. Picture: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito
Jackson Hastings’ NRL exit was controversial to say the least. Picture: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito

 

Hastings' boss Ian Watson lost out in the quest to be named coach of the year to another Australian in Justin Holbrook, who guided St Helens to the League Leaders' Shield for the second-successive season and will be hoping to bow out with the title at Old Trafford as he prepares to return to the NRL with the Gold Coast Titans.

Hastings, who was the English Rugby League Writers and Broadcasters' Association player of the year, was named top entertainer in a fans vote, while the Ward Hadaway Spirit of Super League award was presented to Leeds forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan as recognition of his sportsmanship and respect from his peers.

News Corp Australia


No decision on rates at council meeting

premium_icon No decision on rates at council meeting

Low number of councillors delayed vote on proposed increase

'We are frightened': Woman slams govt for lack of support

'We are frightened': Woman slams govt for lack of support

A Nimbin woman has interrupted a press conference with Labor leader