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Jackson Hastings won't play at Manly again: Reports

Wide World of Sports logo Wide World of Sports 17/04/2018 Joe Frost

The drama continues at Manly, with Neil Breen revealing on 100% Footy that the Sea Eagles playing group have told coach Trent Barrett they will no longer play with the young half Jackson Hastings.

The 22-year-old was not selected to face the Wests Tigers on the weekend, with the official reason being that he had suffered an Achilles injury.

However, it was later revealed that Hastings had actually been involved in a training dust-up with skipper Daly Cherry-Evans.

While DCE described the altercation as a “lovers’ tiff”, Breen said last night that there was plenty more to it and that Hastings would not don the maroon and white jersey again this year.

“He’s a strange character, Jackson Hastings, who’s just put all the players offside,” Breen said on 100% Footy.

“Now the extraordinary development is in the wake of the story breaking there has been this punch-up, the players have told Trent Barrett they don’t want to play with him, and Trent Barrett can’t pick him.

“It appears as though [on Tuesday] they’ll name a 21, he won’t be in it and he won’t be chosen again this year.”

Jackson Hastings of the Sea Eagles. © Jason McCawley/Getty Images Jackson Hastings of the Sea Eagles. It would be an extraordinary turn of events for the Manly playing group to be dictating terms to their coach the day after they copped a 38-12 hiding from the Tigers on their home patch, a performance Barrett described as “diabolical”.

What’s more, the Sea Eagles are under a level of salary cap scrutiny that has made it virtually impossible for them to sign quality players.

The club has been hit with a $750,000 fine as well as $660,000 penalty to the club's salary cap for this and next season, as a result of cap breaches involving 15 players over five years, totalling $1.5 million.

This uncertainty over their cap position saw the Brookvale club fail to attract Mitchell Pearce and, after missing his signature, Trent Hodkinson in the offseason.

As a result, they began 2018 with rookie Lachlan Croker lining up alongside Cherry-Evans in the halves, with Hastings generally wearing the No.14 jersey as a backup half or hooker.

With a reduced cap for both this and next year, signing another quality utility – Hastings is described on the Sea Eagles website as being “A very talented half-back who can also play five-eighth, full-back and hooker” – would be a tough proposition.

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