Lee Radford happy with Castleford transfer business amidst new speculation

Ben Olawumi
Lee Radford Castleford Tigers

Castleford coach Lee Radford says he is content with their recruitment for 2023, admitting however that they’re not done yet.

Players who are out-of-contract at their current club have been able to speak to others ahead of next year since May 1.

The Tigers are yet to announce any signings officially. The additions of Alex Mellor & Jack Broadbent (Leeds Rhinos) and Jacob Miller (Wakefield Trinity) have widely been reported however. 

“It (the recruitment) is good if we can get a couple more in,” Radford told Love Rugby League.

“It’s probably not going how I’d scripted it but it’s still good in a different way. Another issue at this time of year is that a lot of blokes are done, they’re already signed, and we haven’t announced it as a club because we want to hold it back.

“A lot of blokes have left to go to other clubs and again they hold that information back. They want to announce it at the end of the year when the season tickets go on sale, so it’s a catch 22.

“Sometimes you’re talking about blokes that you’ve already got information on but can’t give that out to the press. Sometimes that can be frustrating for players. It’s a challenge not to slip up (when you’re discussing players).”

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Another player rumoured to be in Cas’ sights is Warrington Wolves half-back Gareth Widdop. The 33-year-old is one of those out of contract come the end of 2022.

Radford though did not give anything away when asked about him. The boss’ response did indicate that Jake Trueman will be leaving the Tigers though, adding: “I didn’t know he (Widdop) had (been linked with us), is that in the news today is it? It’s news to me.

“With Truey going, eight million halves are going to have their names thrown in the hat. With the lack of depth in this country, anybody who is out of contract would be an option. He (Widdop) is an A-grade player.

“He (Trueman) has not signed here so yeah (he) probably (will go). We don’t know for sure though, it’s still up in the air.”

Lee Radford on more transfer talk

Similarly, Radford didn’t provide clarity on the future of Kenny Edwards. He is currently on loan at Cas from Huddersfield Giants. This week, the second-rower has been linked with a surprise move to the NRL for next year.

“We’ll have to watch this space,” added Radford. “It’s the different reports that make me laugh. One says he’s staying, and one says he’s going, but to find the truth, it’s somewhere in the middle, I think.

“At this time of the year there’s that many rumours, and a lot of it is spread by social media. It can be a challenge for players if they’re waiting to secure a deal or they’re waiting to go to another club, then it can de-rail blokes.”

Radford’s side this weekend take on Challenge Cup winners Wigan.

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