Castleford Tigers have announced the appointments of Danny Wilson and Rob Nickolay as part of the club’s coaching setup from the 2022 season.
Danny Wilson will be the Tigers’ Head of Rugby & Development and will work closely with head coach Lee Radford as an assistant coach. Wilson is also the current England Academy head coach & Yorkshire Origin coach.
Wilson will also be heavily involved with Castleford’s coaching, youth, and pathways programmes alongside the Castleford Tigers Foundation to nurture talent in various areas of the Club.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to come to Castleford Tigers. I know what Castleford is all about and I’m really looking forward to joining, sharing my experience and making an impact,” Wilson told the Castleford website.
“With Lee Radford coming as head coach and all the other good people that work there, it’s really exciting what the future will hold. I think that the people there are really humble, and everyone is really hard working. They are all passionate about the future success of the Club and that’s a recipe for long term success.
“Lee is a fantastic bloke and is very loyal. He’s an unbelievable coach and you can see that in the success he had at Hull. He had a long tenure and not many coaches have that kind of tenure. I think that speaks volumes about his commitment to the cause.
“He is very astute at what he does, and I have come to work with him because I know what he is capable of. The team he is putting together is very exciting and it is very exciting for me to come and be a part of that. My experience is more with the Academy and youth in the national programmes, so to work with Lee in the first team regularly will be a massive development process for me.
As Head of Rugby & Development, Wilson will be working very closely with the Tigers’ young players with an aim to develop them into regulars in Super League action.
“I can come and engage with the community clubs personally too, that is something I am really excited to do. Darren Higgins (Head of Youth Performance) has done a great job with the Academy system. I really want to be part of that and work really closely with Darren. There’s a lot there and they are not far off.
“For me and Lee to go in there, I am really looking forward to making an imprint, and our aspirations are to be leading the way. Our ambition is to lead the way in terms of our Academy at Castleford and make sure people are following what we are doing.”
Castleford have also welcomed Rob Nickolay as the club’s new Education & Development Manager.
Nickolay has a wealth of experience from fellow Super League clubs Hull KR and Hull FC and is the current coach of England Community Lions.
Nickolay, like Wilson, will work closely alongside Darren Higgins, Castleford’s Head of Youth Performance to expand the growing player and development pathways.
Nickolay could not be happier with the move: “I’m really excited to get involved with such a great, historic club. It’s exciting to see the direction and the way that the club is going, it’s like we are on the cusp of something, and it will be a great journey, I’m sure.
“Working with some great people who I’ve worked firsthand with such as Danny & Lee was part of the attraction to join, the passion they bring to their roles is something that made it an easy decision for me.
“Ultimately, I will be linking between the Foundation and the Academy to make sure there is a pathway for our players to come through at all levels, both male and female. That pathway is making sure we have got something sustainable and that we can be producing not just talented players but talented people to work within the club and community and help push the Tigers forward.
Nickolay will also be working with Castleford Tigers Foundation to further grow its educational provisions.
“It will be making sure that we have the right courses and progression for people to want to come and get involved with the club. Having that education route for people who want to come and get involved, we want to provide that pathway which can give the platform or springboard for people to kickstart their careers.”
Castleford Tigers Head Coach from 2022 Lee Radford is delighted to welcome both Danny Wilson and Rob Nickolay to his coaching staff and said:“I’m really pleased, Danny is incredibly articulate, an academic, a man highly respected in the game.
“The work Danny has done at youth level has contributed to a lot of young lads coming through and playing Super League. His organisational skills are second to none, which will help me massively. As a great coach it will be a terrific challenge for him, and one he will be comfortable with I’m certain.”
“Rob is very similar, from an academic background and he has done a great job in building the Foundation and the Academy at Hull, the City of Hull Academy too, I saw his work first-hand. The amateur game within the city has got great links with the professional clubs, and Rob was very influential in organising a lot of that.
“One of the things I wanted to do moving forward was to put a lot of emphasis on our youth and youth development. With earlier in the year Cas not being given an elite licence, there is a need to grow there and that will be hugely important.
“We want to produce as many young kids coming through the ranks as we possibly can, both Rob & Danny are going to be highly influential in that. The work we are going to be doing with the amateur clubs in and around the area will be assisting a lot of the good work Darren Higgins has done as well.”