Knights officially sign Jackson Hastings on three-year deal, David Klemmer granted early release to join Tigers

Jackson Hastings has lasted just one season at the Wests Tigers, signing a three-year deal with the Knights for 2023 and beyond.

The halfback was arguably the club’s best player when he was on the field last year, but has been let go as part of a player swap involving Newcastle prop David Klemmer, who has officially been released with a year to run on his contract. 

Hastings will link up with Knights legend Andrew Johns at the club, and will likely play alongside Kalyn Ponga in the halves next year.

Knights head of football Peter Parr welcomed the former Super League ‘Man of Steel’ winner to the Hunter region. 

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“We are delighted to have Jackson secured,” he said. 

“He compliments our playing roster and adds further depth to our halves, with the additional bonus of being a competent goal kicker.

“Jackson is at a stage of his career where he is coming into his prime and we believe his best years are ahead of him.”

Klemmer will move to Concord on a three-year arrangement with an option for a further season, finishing his tenure at the Knights after joining from Canterbury in 2019. 

The 29-year-old was involved a heated exchange with a trainer last season, leading to rumours of a potential move away from the Knights, and the Tigers confirmed his acquisition on Wednesday. 

“I can’t wait to rip into pre-season training, and I’m really excited about what’s ahead for us,” Klemmer said. 

“I know Tim [Sheens] well through our time together with the Kangaroos and there’s a lot to like about where the club is headed.

“In many ways it’s a new start for the club, and I’m delighted to be a part of it.

“I want to make a difference here and that includes helping some of the younger players who haven’t played a lot of first grade yet.”

Tigers coach Tim Sheens was full of praise for the former NSW and Australian prop.

“We all know what David can do. He’s been one of the most dominant forwards in our game for many years,” he said.

“I’m delighted he’s joined us, and I think he’ll be a great asset to the club. 

“We have a lot of young players coming through our system and I know he will have a good influence on them.”

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Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe also thanked Hastings for his services and explained the decision to part ways after just one season. 

“As a club we are obviously not satisfied that we finished last in 2022 and tough decisions need to be made,” he said.

“Not everyone will be happy with some of the decisions we make, but we do not apologise for these decisions.

“Our members and fans need to understand that every decision that is made is in the best interest of this club and changing the fortunes on the field.

“This was a good opportunity for Jackson to get a long-term deal playing in his preferred position at number seven.

“On behalf of Wests Tigers, I would like to wish Jackson the very best with his future and thank him for his efforts over the past 12 months.”

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