Castleford Tigers forward Grant Millington may have announced his retirement last week, along with his intention to return to Australia at the end of the season, but he would be happy to return to England at some time in the future if a coaching opportunity were to arise.
Millington, 34, joined the Tigers in 2012 on a two-year deal and at the time he admits he anticipated fulfilling his contract and returning to Australia two years later.
But since then he has regularly extended his contract and, during that time, he took out British citizenship for his whole family.
But it was his children who persuaded him to put his family first and return to his home country.
“I can’t emphasise how much I have loved my time at Castleford,” he said.
“My original contract was negotiated by my agent Steve Gillis, but since then I’ve negotiated my own contract extensions with the club. And I have never spoken to any other club about leaving Castleford.
“It has been a tough decision to leave. But my kids were ready to go home and be with our family. That’s persuaded us to go home. We’ve had a great time and loved being here, but it’s just the right time for us. I’ve had (wife) Amy away from her family and the kids away from their grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunties.
“I still want to be involved in Rugby League, perhaps playing part-time and doing some coaching. But if the opportunity arose I would certainly see myself returning to England in a coaching capacity at some stage, although that would be much further down the track.”
Meanwhile Castleford will reunite Danny Wilson and Rob Nickolay with Lee Radford next season in a move they hope will help secure their long-term elite Academy status.
The Tigers have two years to convince the RFL they should retain a licence to run the game’s highest level of youth development system through to 2027.
The trio worked together at Hull, and now Black and Whites Academy coach Wilson and Nickolay have been recruited by the Tigers, where Radford will replace Daryl Powell when he leaves for Warrington at the end of this campaign.
Powell’s current assistants, Ryan Sheridan and Danny Evans and analyst Steve Mills, will also leave Castleford for Warrington.
And there has been speculation that Andy Last, who was Radford’s right-hand man at Hull and after his sacking, spent eight months in interim charge, will leave his current role on the Wakefield staff to join Castleford, where Wilson will be head of rugby and development as well as an assistant first-team coach and Nikolay education and development manager.
Wilson, who is also the England Academy and Yorkshire Origin head coach, said: “Lee is very astute, and I have come to work with him because I know what he is capable of.
“The team he is putting together is very exciting and it is very exciting for me to come and be a part of that.”
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