Kenny Edwards has found a coaching soulmate in Lee Radford and is loving his rugby again at Castleford Tigers, having opened up on how his time at Huddersfield Giants became “miserable”.
The backrower has joined Lee Radford’s Castleford on a season-long loan, which will take in the final year of his contract with their West Yorkshire neighbours.
Edwards said that it was early in Ian Watson’s reign at Huddersfield that he decided he wanted to leave, and he had requested a move three times before the eight-match ban that ended his time there.
He said: “There was a time that came when I went to Ian Watson and said ‘can I move on next year’? That was a flat out ‘no, you’re not getting anywhere’.
“Later on it worked out that it was probably best for both parties that I move on, so that was why they let me go and speak to someone, so I got on the phone to Radders straight away and he got me here.
“There were times last year when I was going home and it was affecting my home life, I was going home miserable.
“My time at home was being spent with my kids and my family but I was miserable. I was going to training and I was miserable.
“I ended up leaving the Giants halfway through the year. After that ban there was some stuff in the media that came from the Giants that I wasn’t particularly happy about.
“It sounded a bit like I was the one getting kicked out of the club, when I’d asked for three releases that year and they knocked me back every time.”
A potential refuge in Castleford had been identified earlier in the year with Hull’s Bureta Faraimo, now a Tigers team-mate, and Manu Ma’u advising Edwards that Radford would be the ideal coach for him.
And that’s turned out to be exactly the case, with an environment and style of play that the Kiwi is loving.
“Being in this environment, it’s all rugby, it’s play what’s in front of you,” said Edwards, whose future beyond this season will be a family decision after four years in Europe.
“(In training) there was a play where someone ran something and it didn’t come off, but it was on and just didn’t come off.
“A few of the boys threw their hands up but the coach said ‘I’ll take that, if you see something you think is on and it doesn’t come off, I’ll back you to then stick up for your mate and defend it’.
“That’s something I probably haven’t heard since Brad Arthur at Parramatta. If you see something and it’s on, you back yourself.
“(Radford) and Andy Last I think are a really good combination, with Danny Wilson, a really good combination of coaches where they’ll back you if you see something on.
“That’s the sort of player I am. It fills you with confidence when you hear that coming from your coaches.”
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