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Hastings isn't a bad guy: Robinson

Scott Bailey
Manly utility Jackson Hastings is likely to spend the rest of the season in reserve grade

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has lent his support to exiled Manly utility Jackson Hastings, four seasons after he gave him his NRL debut.

Robinson handed Hastings his debut as an 18-year-old ahead of the 2014 finals series, and even placed his faith in the youngster when he opted against re-signing proven winner James Maloney at the end of 2015.

But less than three years later Hastings' career is at the crossroads, having been dumped back to reserve grade indefinitely after Manly claimed there'd been a number of issues since his arrival at the start of last year.

The Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) are also monitoring the situation, with Manly keen to continue to offer support to the 22-year-old after coach Trent Barrett admitted he'd likely spend the rest of the year at feeder-club Blacktown.

And when quizzed on the matter on Wednesday, Robinson admitted Hastings also had trouble fitting in with the Roosters playing group before he was released at the end of 2016.

"He obviously had some issues here at different times," Robinson said.

"The only thing I would say is it sometimes easier to forgive someone when they do commit a crime and then say sorry and come back.

"Jackson's not a bad guy, he doesn't do anything wrong. He's not doing anything wrong there. Obviously he just needs to work on team environment.

"He's not going to misbehave. He never has."

The situation has also been particularly tough for Barrett, who has known Hastings since his teenage years.

Barrett revealed on Wednesday there had been documented issues for 12 months - including a meeting with his manager, the RLPA, and welfare officers in February - before it's all culminated in two altercations with captain Daly Cherry-Evans earlier this month.

But Robinson was confident the playmaker would have strong support base around him.

"Jackson is a strong individual," Robinson said.

"He's got a good family support around him, so I would say they would be supporting him strongly right now.

"His mum is a really good lady and has been there through a lot with him. She would be the main support right now."

Meanwhile, NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said on Wednesday he would leave the issue largely to Manly.

"For me that's a matter between a player and his club and I'd expect them to do that," he said.

"It's not dissimilar to what might happen at a number of clubs over the course of the season."

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