Roosters gun Jackson Hastings says attitude work in progress
RUGBY LEAGUE: Prodigious Roosters talent Jackson Hastings admits the rumours about his perceived bad attitude have been partially true - but they are now a thing of the past.
In a refreshingly honest interview with the 19-year-old star on the rise, the son of Roosters legend Kevin "Horrie" Hastings admitted it was an area of his life he had been working on.
The young backline utility made his first-grade debut at just 18 against defending premiers the Rabbitohs late last season.
That was before he was involved in an ugly fracas when playing for the Australian under-20 team against New Zealand.
The young Aussies charged in on the haka showing a collective brashness, angering many fans across the game.
Hastings starred for Australia against the Kiwis at fullback on Saturday, the team turning around last year's defeat in a thrilling 22-20 victory.
But again he and his teammates were involved in a melee with their fierce Trans Tasman rivals after the siren.
In a sign of his growing maturity though, hands were shook with opposing players and the issue seemed to be left out on the field.
"It's probably right, you know (the rumours regarding his attitude). In the past coming up through the grades I did honestly have a bad issue with my attitude," Hastings told APN.
"I'm a very passionate kid, as you can probably tell by the way I play footy.
"I think that gets perceived the wrong way."
Hastings said Roosters coach Trent Robinson had been instrumental in helping him grow up.
"It's just little things like making sure I say hello to everyone, and it goes back to Robbo," he said.
"He's been the sole influence on that, and I can't thank him enough.
"I think I just need to control my body language, and control what I say at what times.
"But I do understand why people think that (about a perceived attitude problem), yeah.
"It's a work in progress."
Roosters assistant and Australia under-20s coach Justin Holbrook had nothing but positive things to say about the classy utility, who has been compared to Sharks star Jack Bird.
"It (attitude) is great; I think it's fantastic. He loves playing footy and he loves being around the footy field," Holbrook said.
"He's a classy player, Jacko. We're still not sure what his best position is, but he's a good footballer and he knows how to play."
Another thing Hastings cleared up was that he was happy at the Roosters, the same team his club legend father played 228 games for, denying recent talk he would soon be headed to Penrith.
Hastings has been forced to bide his time behind representative halves Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney, and Kiwis fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, at the Bondi club.
"I've got another year (at the Roosters). One hundred per cent I want to stay. I've got no intentions on leaving," Hastings said.
"They showed a lot of interest in me when I was off contract as a kid, and they've developed me into the player I am today."