The protracted negotiations between the Newcastle Knights and Wests Tigers have finally come to a conclusion, with the Knights confirming that Tigers half Jackson Hastings has joined the team from the Steel City.
The club also confirmed the departure of David Klemmer to ‘another NRL club', which is widely believed to be the Tigers after a swap arrangement was reportedly struck - although it seems strange not to mention the destination given the amount of coverage in recent days.
Hastings joins the Knights on a three-year deal after playing just one of the two years on his contract in Concord. While the club had initially sought to secure the services of Luke Brooks, their focus shifted to Hastings when it was confirmed Brooks would not be released.
The Knights will become Hastings' fourth NRL club in 64 games since making his debut for the Sydney Roosters back in 2014. He also spent two years at Manly before making his move to the Super League with Salford and then Wigan.
Though Hastings has faced significant pressure and challenges in Australia, his time in the UK gave him a new lease on life and he even claimed the Man of Steel Award in 2019. He also made four Test appearances for Great Britain.
“We are delighted to have Jackson secured,” said Knights Director of Football Peter Parr.
“He compliments our playing roster and adds further depth to our halves, with the additional bonus of being a competent goal kicker.
“Jackson is at the stage of his career where he is coming into his prime, and we believe his best years are ahead of him.”
Fans of both clubs won't have to wait long to see who benefitted most from the deal, with the clubs set to meet in Round 2 at Leichhardt Oval, 4pm on Sunday March 12.