Lee Radford on potential Jacques O’Neill return as he addresses Daniel Smith and Greg Eden absences

CASTLEFORD TIGERS head coach Lee Radford has had his say on the potential return of Jacques O’Neill as well as addressing the absence of Daniel Smith and Greg Eden.

O’Neill issued a come and get me plea to Super League a number of weeks ago after enjoying the fame and bright lights since his appearance on ITV2 hit show Love Island.

However, Radford has not had contact with O’Neill in recent weeks, with the former Hull FC boss firmly focused on improving the performance against St Helens following a 32-30 loss to Hull last weekend.

“I stay in with touch Jacques anyway on general stuff,” Radford said.

“This week has knocked me for six with the performance at the weekend. I’ve not had a chance to catch up with anyone or Jacques in relation to that this week.”

Two notable absences from the Castleford squad for the round one opener against Hull were Daniel Smith – who went on loan to Halifax Panthers – and Greg Eden.

Both, however, are not ready to make the Tigers team with Smith suffering a cut and Eden still a number of weeks away from full fitness.

“Dan has picked up a cut, it’s almost like a flap on his ankle so he’s not available for selection for anyone this week.

“Greg has been missing since Christmas in terms of training with the first-team. He had his first week back with the team last week.

“We thought it would be too soon for Greg to be in contention when the other blokes had done a full pre-season and performed well in the friendlies. Hopefully he won’t be too far away.”

Castleford take on St Helens on Sunday in front of the Channel 4 cameras and Radford admits that the rest of Super League has catching up to do.

“Their level of intensity, they are prepared to get in the arm wrestle more than other sides and they’ve won four Grand Finals and now a World Club Challenge.

“Every team appreciates that there is a fair bit of catching up to do to get near St Helens.”