JACKSON Hastings has saved Salford’s Super League skins – now he wants to honour his family by doing his bit for England!
The Australian-born scrum-half actually qualifies for Wayne Bennett’s side thanks to his late grandmother Margaret, who was born in Plymouth.
And after making a massive impact as the Red Devils secured an automatic top flight spot in the Qualifiers, he would like to pull on a white shirt.
Hastings will face plenty of competition for a place in Tuesday’s squad for the series against New Zealand, even with Gareth Widdop likely to be ruled out through injury.
Castleford’s Luke Gale, St Helens’ Danny Richardson, Hull’s Marc Sneyd and Wigan’s George Williams, normally a stand-off, are in the frame for a place.
But Hastings has not stopped dreaming of representing his heritage.
The 22-year-old said: “My nan was a proud English lady, and she passed away two years ago. If I was to be given the chance by England to play for them, I would jump at that.
“My nan meant a lot to me and my grandad spoke to me with a tear in his eye, telling me my nan would be proud.
“Family means a lot to me, I love my nan and it would be an honour to represent where she comes from.
“If England see I could help them win, I would love to have a chat to see if I fit in. It would be up to the boys in that team and the coaching staff to see if I’m a good fit.
“If it’s decided I’m not, I’ll cop that and take it on the chin but English rugby league is growing and you could tell by their performance in the World Cup final they’ll be a great nation going forward and they’re only going to improve.”
Hastings’ 18 points helped Salford beat Toulouse 44-10 to seal a Super League spot, now SunSport understands he is set to stay despite interest from Wigan and Huddersfield.
After being dumped by NRL side Manly, he has re-discovered his love for the game over here and already admits he will be in Super League for 2019.
And the love Salford fans have for him – which saw him carried off on people’s shoulders – will make it hard to leave.
Hastings added: “It’ll be hard to leave here and that’s why it’s taken so long. It’s not because I want to build up speculation and it’s definitely not about money.
“The first thing I said when I landed was that I just wanted to win and get Salford safe, we’ll get the ball rolling now.
“I had the idea of coming here for 18 months. I’ve got another full season here to knock over.
“I’ve had it rough for a couple of years in Australia and I’ve been labelled things that I definitely am not. It was about changing perceptions and becoming a better player and a better person.
“I’m definitely not the finished product but I’m working on it and hopefully people can see I’m an OK bloke and I’ve got a heart.”