Radford heads for Dallas

Former Hull FC coach Lee Radford says he feels no sadness about leaving Rugby League, only excitement in anticipating his new job with the Dallas Jackals rugby union franchise.

The surprise news was announced last week and will see Radford take up the position of defensive coach at the club.

The 41-year-old had spent time away from sport following his exit from the Black and Whites in March, having guided the club to two Challenge Cup triumphs during his time in charge.

Radford says he did have options to remain in Rugby League, but that the opportunity to work in America was too good to resist.

Radford said: “There’s not any sadness at the moment, just excitement.

“There won’t be that media focus and that’s something I’ve not been used to for the last six years are so.

“It’s safe to say that I’m not going to get recognised walking down the street in Dallas, although that’s hopefully something it will get to one day.

“It’s growing there and there are a couple of new franchises around, including Dallas.

“If you look at the teams we’ll be playing – New York, Seattle, Toronto – there’s going to be some travel there.

“They had the draft three weeks ago and then the collegiate draft, and Allen (Clarke) has asked me to look at a few players for further recruitment.

“That’s one thing that’s taken me by surprise compared to the relative small pond I’ve been used to when scouting in Rugby League terms.

“It stood out straight away – you could be looking at French division two, the league in Japan, Super Rugby, the Heineken Cup.”

The move to Dallas actually originated by chance during a week when he was in charge of the Black and Whites.

Radford explained: “Allen Clarke was coach of Ospreys last year and came to Hull with his assistant to mirror us for a week and look how the organisation was run.

“With it being a different sport there was no conflict of interest in seeing how we did things to help reinforce or progress what they were doing.

“We hit it off when they came over to stay, and stayed in touch.

“When he was released halfway through their season I dropped him a message and spoke to him and he did the same when it happened to me.

“I said to him off-the-cuff that I’d like to have a catch-up with him and pick his brains regarding rugby union, because it was a direction I wanted to go in.

“Within a few days he’d rung back and said he could go one better than that, and did I fancy travelling to Dallas to be defensive coach with him there.

“After putting the phone down it was one of those where I got the old butterflies in the stomach, the excitement was there and I snapped his hands off.”

Radford’s family will remain in Hull, with his sons Logan and Brad on the books with the Black and Whites, with the rugby union season in America only running for 16 weeks.