Castleford Tigers coaches set to battle in World Cup opener

Castleford Tigers coach Lee Radford is ready to work against, rather than with, his assistant Andy Last and quipped: “We’ve stopped talking to each other in the office.”

The pair who worked together at Hull and combined to lead Castleford to the verge of the play-offs this year are already planning for an improvement next season.

But before that, both are on World Cup duty, Radford as part of Samoa coach Matt Parish’s back-up team, which also includes former Leeds chief Richard Agar, and Last as one of England boss Shaun Wane’s two assistants alongside Paul Wellens.

The sides kick off the tournament when they clash at St James’ Park, Newcastle on Saturday week, October 15.

“When I was asked, I was really pleased with the chance to be a part of the Samoa team,” said Radford.

“It means Andy and me being in competition, but there’s been some banter there, and it will be a great way to get the competition going,

“I’m excited to work with some of the players who will be in the Samoa squad. Talking to Matt (Parish), he’s really pleased with the availability that he’s got.

“Some of them choosing Samoa over Australia is a really powerful decision and the influence of those blokes will be big in the competition.”

Samoa, who also face France and Greece in the group stages, will be based in Doncaster, 20 miles away from Castleford.

“The planning has been taken care of and as soon as the players land, they’ll be able to familiarise themselves with their surroundings,” Radford told the Tigers website.

“Jarome Luai and Josh Papali’i are just two who have played at the highest level of our sport.

“I’m looking forward to picking their brains and seeing how they set about doing their work.”

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