Manly coach Trent Barrett has confirmed to the media young utility Jackson Hastings will not play for the Sea Eagles again in 2018.
After news broke on Tuesday suggesting Sea Eagles players had told Barrett they didn’t want to play in the same side as Hastings, the club have sided with the majority of the playing group.
“It’s unfortunate that it’s got to this, but I will say the club has certainly done everything possible over the past 12 months to try and avoid it,” Barrett told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday morning.
“But we made a decision to put Jackson back to Blacktown. We’ll continue to look after his welfare but we’ve also got a squad to look after.
“This certainly isn’t a one-off incident. We have documented a lot of things over the past 12 months. The last formal one was the second of February when we had Jackson in here with the RLPA and his manager, and our welfare officer, to try and work out a plan – to work through some issues to avoid a situation that we’ve just gone through.
“Unfortunately it was an issue that I saw coming and we tried to address it a long time ago and now it’s implicated another player. So it’s something we certainly would have rather avoided but we have to make some decisions in the best interest of the team and I’ve done that, and we just need to try and move forward while still providing Jackson with support.”
Following an incident between Hastings and star half Daly Cherry-Evans in Gladstone last week, it seems as though Barrett and the club had decided that would be the end of Hastings this season.