Former Super League coach Lee Radford is set for a shock code switch to rugby union as a defence coaching, according to reports.
The 44-year-old left Castleford after just the opening three rounds of the 2023 Super League campaign, resulting in defeats to Hull, St Helens and Wigan.
He had reportedly already told the Mend-A-Hose Jungle side that he would be leaving at the expiry of his contract at the end of the season.
City A.M. have reported that Radford is now set to join Northampton Saints as their defence coach, having been in the market for an addition to their backroom staff.
Radford had reportedly been interested in a move to the NRL, having been spotted during the competition’s Magic Weekend in Brisbane earlier in May.
A two-time Challenge Cup winner with Hull in 2016 and 2017, Radford also caught the attention during last year’s World Cup in England as part of Samoa’s coaching team under Matt Parish, helping guide the side to a historic first World Cup final at Old Trafford.
The star-studded Samoa, which included the likes of Joseph Suaalii, Jarome Luai and captain Junior Paulo, defeated England at the Emirates Stadium in the semi-finals to set up the showdown clash with Australia in Manchester.
Phil Dowson currently heads up the coaching unit at Northampton Saints as director of rugby, with Sam Vesty as head coach.
A move to rugby union would see Radford follow in the footsteps of the likes of Andy Farrell, Shaun Edwards and most recently Kevin Sinfield in making the code switch.
Lee Radford departed Castleford by mutual consent
Radford left his position at Castleford by mutual consent earlier this year.
He said: “With the club and myself heading in different directions, I think making this early call will be the correct one. Hopefully, it can kick-start their season starting this Friday away at Huddersfield.
“I’d like to thank on record the fans, management, coaching staff, and players and wish them all the best for 2023 and beyond.”
Assistant coach Andy Last took over on an interim basis, before he was appointed the club’s permanent coach on a deal until the end of 2025.
The Tigers currently sit 11th on the Super League table with four wins, six points clear of bottom side Wakefield.