Castleford Tigers will still be classy under my watch, says Lee Radford

Lee Redford says George Lawler and Joe Westerman will play as big a role as fellow new arrivals like Jake Mamo, Bureta Faraimo, Mahe Fonua and Kenny Edwards in helping Castleford carry on entertaining next year.

The Tigers had that reputation under Daryl Powell, and his successor has added plenty of try-scoring punch to his squad in backs Mamo, who scored 17 in 23 games for Warrington this year, and Faraimo and Fonua, both of whom he worked with at Hull.

Meanwhile Edwards, the Kiwi second rower recruited on a season-long loan from Huddersfield, has a reputation for an off-the-cuff approach.

But Radford, who has also brought in Leeds duo Callum McLelland and Alex Sutcliffe and signed Suaia Matagi after the Samoa prop’s season on loan from Huddersfield, says ex-Hull KR man Lawler and Westerman, back from Wakefield for a second spell at Castleford, will also prove to be crowd pleasers.

“They are forwards who can do the hard stuff but can play a bit as well,” he said.

“I think Cas’s reputation for a fluent brand of rugby goes hand in hand with the pitch, and we’ll be aiming to use it, and our experience of it, to our advantage.”

Radford, who took over last month, says he’s enjoying being back in the game after a 19-month absence since he parted company with Hull.

He’s working with his former Hull assistant Andy Last, who spent last season at Wakefield and is also an assistant coach of England, and Danny Wilson, the England Academy coach.

England Knights strength and conditioning coach Adam Whitney is also performing that function for Castleford, and Radford explained: “They are all a big part of what we’ve been doing, and I’m pleased with the progress we’re making.

“They will have the option of a short break over Christmas, albeit with individual programmes to follow at home, then we’ll get back together and start the countdown to the season.”

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