LEE RADFORD will return to Rugby League as coach of Castleford.
The Tigers have confirmed the former Hull chief will start a two-year deal when existing coach Daryl Powell leaves for Warrington at the end of this season.
Radford, 42, was axed by Hull seven games into last season.
He had been at the helm since 2013, and led the Black and Whites to two Challenge Cup triumphs, in 2016 and 2017.
Radford had been due to become defence coach at new American rugby union club Dallas Jackals, who will start playing next year.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity with a fantastic club and I’m really looking forward to taking up the challenge,” said the former Hull, Bradford and England forward, who was assistant coach to Peter Gentle at Hull before being promoted to the top job.
“I like what the club is about, from the outside it is a hardworking, honest, hard-faced club and I think you know what you’re getting when you come here.
“I think all those descriptions suit me down to the ground.
“I’m very aware of the brand of rugby that is played at Castleford and it’s one I’m looking forward to having an effect on as well.
“I’ve always enjoyed watching it from the outside, I’ve always enjoyed coming up against it and trying to stop it.”
“The job Daryl has done has been great over the years, as a club they have been in that tier of the best of the rest behind a Wigan and Saints, and ultimately trying to break that ceiling is going to be what the challenge is.
“That is something we will be working tirelessly as a club and as a group to achieve.”
Castleford chairman Ian Fulton said: “Appointing our next head coach has been an incredibly extensive process with applicants from both codes of rugby applying for the position.
“We as a board of directors are delighted to have secured Lee’s services, and he has already begun his work at identifying players for both retention and recruitment in 2022.
“Everyone at Castleford remains focused on the current task at hand with our first-team squad and head coach Daryl Powell, who we would love to see end his time with the Tigers on a deserved high note.”