Watts’ Hull departure ‘wasn’t for playing purposes’, reveals Lee Radford

Hull FC coach Lee Radford has confirmed that Liam Watts’ departure from the club was not due to playing reasons – revealing that it was due to disciplinary reasons why they ultimately sanctioned his move to Castleford.

Watts has signed a three-year deal with his hometown club after being granted permission to leave Hull, where he played an integral part in their back-to-back Challenge Cup successes in recent years.

Inevitably, the subject of Watts was high on the agenda when Radford addressed the media on Thursday – and Radford confirmed what had been reported: that Watts’ departure was not due to his on-field performances.

“Our statement is out there, we released that on Wednesday, and there is enough detail in there from the club’s point of view. I appreciate people might want a little bit more juicy gossip but there’ll be none coming out,” he said.

“He’s a Castleford player now and he was a FC player but we felt it was in our best interests to let Liam go to Castleford and that’s what has happened. Both parties, I would imagine, are pretty happy because of that.”

When asked if it was strange to let one of his top performers leave, Radford said: “Yes, ultimately. It was a discipline issue ultimately and it wasn’t for football purposes.

“You can read between the lines what you want and I imagine there will be plenty of rumours on social media. It is what it is and we have moved on quick. There are loads of elements that went into the decision and that (squad depth) was one of them.”