NRL Rd 2 - Knights v Wests Tigers
NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20: Jackson Hastings of the Wests Tigers is tackled during the round two NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Wests Tigers at McDonald Jones Stadium, on March 20, 2022, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Jackson Hastings has made it known he wants the Wests Tigers to target Cronulla Sharks' backrower Briton Nikora after the club missed out on Jack Bird this week.

The Tigers were hopeful they could lure Bird to their nest, with the fact that Hastings and Bird are long time friends hidden up their sleeve.

The Tigers are looking for backrowers as Kelma Tuilagi, Luke Garner and Luciano Leilua prepare to depart at the end of the season.

Even with their secret weapon, they missed out as Bird re-signed with the Dragons for three years on Monday according to reports.

The Tigers will now move their aim to their next target, Briton Nikora. The Tigers will again hope their previous relationship with Nikora pushes them over the edge, as Maguire coached Nikora as part of the New Zealand Kiwi team.

Hastings, who has given Nikora his mark of approval in an interview with CODE Sports, hopes that the team can be the one that gets him.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 03: Briton Nikora of the Sharks celebrates scoring a try during the round eight NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Melbourne Storm at Shark Park on May 03, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“I had to mark him when he played for the Kiwis and I played for Great Britain. He’s a bit of a nightmare, he runs a really good line. He is athletic and he is fast,” Hastings told the publication.

“You’d be silly not to look at people like that. He obviously has a connection with Madge. It would be nice if Madge could pull a few strings to get him over the line.“It would be nice to have him running off me instead of over me. He‘ll be a great addition because we probably need some depth in the backrow.”

Sure to not put all their hopes in one basket, Hastings urged sure to tell their fans not to panic if the signings don't go as planned.

If the Tigers fail to get Nikora to sign on the dotted line, they have a few options already under contract. One, who was an exciting prospect before an ACL injury, was Shawn Blore.

With Isaiah Papali'i coming to the club for next season, the Tigers don't need a superstar on the other edge. Hastings believes Blore could represent his state if he stays healthy.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17: Isaiah Papali'i of the Eels celebrates with teammates after scoring a try during the round six NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Parramatta Eels at GIO Stadium on April 17, 2021, in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

“I think he can play State of Origin in the next couple of years. Hopefully, his body holds up and he comes back from this ACL and gets a bit of luck,” Hastings said.

"In the pre-season, what he was doing is freakish and I have trained and played with some good backrowers. He’s top-shelf.”

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