JACKSON Hastings is becoming a man at Salford – but he admits he will only know if he has truly grown up when the chips are down.
The Australian scrum-half was a bad boy back home, facing the scrapheap after getting in trouble once too often at NRL clubs.
But the Red Devils came calling and life has turned on its head, to the point where he snubbed a move to Wigan because of the loyalty he has for that second chance.
He believes he is a different person than the hothead who arrived here but admitted he will only know for sure if flak comes his way.
Hastings told SunSport: “My confidence has got me in trouble in the past a few times but now I know I’m improving as a person. I know right from wrong now, it took me 23 years but I finally got there.
“But I may not truly know until I get put in a really hard circumstance where I’ve been before, then I’ll know if I’ve really learned my lessons.
“Salford has had more of an effect on me than I’ve had on it. I would never have pictured being in this position, especially with the baggage I had coming over. I was a 22-year-old kid who was called a nightmare and got a chance to come over here.
“In my heart of hearts I was always going to stay. I’m grateful that Wigan even showed an interest but if it wasn’t for Salford I’d be working a 9-5 job and playing just for fun at weekends.”
‘Day job’ avoided, now is time for Hastings to show he can have a long-term effect after a blistering impact at the end of last season.
And he admitted he hopes opponents, starting with London today (Sun), come for him as it will bring the best out of him and free up Salford’s other threats.
He added: “As a half-back, you expect to get a lot of pressure and heat off bigger fellas. I’ve played long enough to know it’s not a smooth zone and you’re going to get hit sometimes.
“But I enjoy that, it gives me that streak that says, ‘I want to prove the guy in front of me wrong.’
“Whether I’m targeted is for opposition coaches to decide. If they want to focus on me, they’ve got to deal with Robert Lui and Niall Evalds on the other edge.”
TOP RUGBY LEAGUE STORIES