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NRL: Hastings tipped to shine

Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire is backing new boy Jackson Hastings to take the NRL by storm after returning down under following a successful spell in Super League.

Wests Tigers are looking to finish in the top eight of the NRL and the pressure is on Maguire as the club have gone 10 years without playing finals.

Big signing

However Hastings is one of several key new additions that Maguire believes will help take the Tigers back into the top eight.

The playmaker left the NRL in 2018 following a controversial split from the Manly Sea Eagles but managed to get his career back on track in the UK with Salford Red Devils and then the Wigan Warriors.

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Maguire says the 26-year-old returns to Australia a better more mature player and he has been impressed with what he has seen so far.

"I think the connection of Jacko with the players was really pleasing," Maguire said of last month's trial win over the Roosters. "He only had that one game but how he and Brooksy (Luke Brooks) are coming together and Daine [Laurie] out the back.

"That will only continue to grow as we build more connections in games. The pleasing part of Jacko coming in he’s just about the team and wanting to grow to where we want to get to."

Pressure is on

Maguire admits the pressure is on this season but believes both he and his players are ready to meet the challenge head on.

"All the time, wherever you are in this game there’s the same [pressure]," he added. "It’s a club we all want to rise. We’ve gone through a fair bit in the last couple of years but it’s about what we do now.

"The big thing I’ve seen the players really focus on is how we want to play our game and make sure we can do the things we can control."

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