With the news that Manly’s Jackson Hastings will not represent the Sea Eagles again in 2018, it is highly likely the young playmaker will move to a new club as soon as he can.
The following clubs are those that would benefit the most from signing Hastings.
A disappointing start to the season has led to Jack Bird replacing Kodi Nikorima in the halves for the Broncos. It remains to be seen in Anthony Milford and Bird will be full-time halves partners but coming into State of Origin time the halves depth of the Broncos could be seriously tested.
Hastings would be able to cover the halves or a utility bench position over the Origin period as well as if there is an injury. Eventually, Hastings could even start in the halves if Wayne Bennett would prefer to use Bird elsewhere while keeping Nikorima on the bench.
After a slow start to the season, Ricky Stuart showed that he was willing to make serious changes to his side. One of these changes included Blake Austin being dropped to reserve grade, meaning that Stuart is happy to give other playmakers opportunities.
Hastings is a strong utility player and arguably a better bench option than any of Austin, Aidan Sezer or Sam Williams. Moving forwards, Hastings could also cover injuries or Origin selections.
Gold Coast Titans
Signing Jackson Hastings would be a good option for the Titans especially once their depth is tested. Both Nathan Peats and Ashley Taylor are in the frame for Origin selection, meaning a potential position in the halves or the bench opens up.
Garth Brennan is likely to continue changing up his roster as he looks to establish his own side and Hastings could be a solid option.
There is plenty going wrong for the Eels at the moment and the halves are under pressure and reportedly unhappy. If Parramatta is to lose either of their first choice halves, Hastings could be a short or long-term solution to the problem.
Hastings is also a far better choice for the utility position than Will Smith who currently occupies that role. Though Smith is a good player, Hastings can cover more positions and is a far better ballplayer, making him a better option.