Ticking time bomb: Barrett reveals full extent of Hastings drama
THE Jackson Hasting issue at Manly was a ticking time bomb.
Trent Barrett revealed an altercation with Sea Eagles captain Daly Cherry-Evans was the tipping point in his decision to banish Hastings from the team but not an isolated incident.
Now foxsports.com.au can reveal Barrett and Hastings were involved in a heated confrontation during the pre-season where the playmaker stormed out of training and went home.
Barrett forecasted problems with Hastings reaching boiling point and his fears were realised last week after news of an incident with Cherry-Evans was unearthed.
"We have pretty well documented a lot of things over the past 12 months," Barrett said on Wednesday.
"The last probably formal one was on the second of February where we actually had Jackson in here with the RLPA and his manager and our welfare officer to try and work out a plan to work through some issues to avoid a situation that we've just gone through.
"Unfortunately it was an issue I saw coming and we tried to address it a long time ago and now it's implicated another player.
"It's something we'd rather avoided but we've got to make some decisions in the best interests of the team and I've done that."
The utility will likely not be considered for first grade this year, according to Barrett.
Barrett called a snap press conference on Wednesday morning at Sea Eagles training, confirming there had been two separate incidents between Hastings and captain Daly Cherry-Evans this month.
"It's unfortunate that it's got to this. But I will say the club has certainly done everything possible over the past 12 months to try and avoid it. But we made a decision to put Jackson back to Blacktown," Barrett said.
Barrett said the latest incident with Cherry-Evans at training in Gladstone was 'bubbling up' over time.
With NRL players living in each other's pockets, personalities are bound to clash and Hastings has had a hard time meshing with everyone on the roster.
"He does have a bit of an issue fitting in with the group at times and it's not all the time," Barrett said.
"We've made a decision with what we've done and we've got to stick by it."
Barrett admits Hastings is upset by the incident.
Now it looks like Super League is Hastings' only option.
Having no takers for his services in the NRL, Hastings is off-contract this season and left with little options but Barrett hopes his career isn't over at the age of 22.
"I'd certainly hope this isn't the end," he said.
"He's a talented player. We know that. He's young. There's still the time for Jackson to turn things around. It's something we have talked about during his time here.
"He's still here and we'll continue to do it but he's going to need some support over the next few days.