Castleford coach Lee Radford delighted to tie down promising duo

Drew Darbyshire
Castleford coach Lee Radford

Castleford coach Lee Radford

Castleford coach Lee Radford is happy to see two bright prospects sign new deals with the club.

Prop Sam Hall, 19, has signed a one-year contract extension with the club. He made his first team debut last year and has played three games for the first team in 2021.

Prop Brad Martin, 20, has agreed a new one-year deal with the Tigers. He made his first team debut in 2020 and went on to make nine appearances this season.

Lee Radford excited

On Hall, Radford said: “He has got a great skillset for a big bloke. Physically, he’s got what a lot of other young kids don’t and that’s his size.

“Hopefully we can nurture that skill and develop him into a big ball playing middle.”

On Martin, Radford said: “It is going to be a good opportunity to see what Brad is all about. He is going to get plenty of opportunities to develop and improve some of the good stuff he already does as a player.

“He’s a tough young bloke and I like the way he plays.”

Meanwhile, former Castleford captain Michael Shenton has joined Hull’s backroom staff. The 35-year-old former England centre hung up his boots at the end of the regular Super League season.

Michael Shenton in action for Castleford
Michael Shenton will join Hull’s backroom staff

Shenton will become Hull’s head of emerging talent in their centre of excellence programme. Also, he will coach the club’s reserves and academy teams next year.

On Shenton’s new chapter, Hull coach Brett Hodgson said: “This is an important role for the club and Michael brings quality in his experience.

“He has been in the game a long time at the highest level. He’s a good leader and we’re adding a quality person to our organisation.

“This is a positive step in the right direction for us and an exciting progression of our pathways.”

In other Castleford news, Tyla Hepi has signed a new contract which will keep him at the club for two more seasons. The 28-year-old New Zealander made 11 Super League appearances for the Tigers in 2021.

Hepi, who is the son of former Castleford player Brad, began his career at Hull KR in 2011 but he found chances limited at Craven Park.

He went on to enjoy spells with Gloucestershire All Holds and Whitehaven before linking up with Toulouse in 2019. In addition, Hepi made 108 appearances for the French side over four seasons.