Castleford Tigers boss Lee Radford might be the only Englishman willing Shaun Wane’s side to lose at the Emirates Stadium this weekend as England take on Samoa at the Emirates Stadium in London for a place in the Rugby League World Cup Final at Old Trafford on November 19th.
That’s because Radford has been working with Matt Parish in the Samoa camp as his assistant coach, however, it wasn’t supposed to be him.
Initially it was set to be former Leeds Rhinos boss Richard Agar however when he accepted a job in the NRL it left a gap to be filled and Agar set about finding a replacement and turned to the former Hull FC boss.
Reflecting on how this came about, Radford said on the BBC 5 Live Rugby League World Cup podcast: “It was all through Richard Agar. He had the position and then got an opportunity to go and coach in Auckland and their pre-season was going to alter his commitment to Samoa.
“He got in touch, asked if I’d be keen and sent across the squad and I had a look at it, saw the talent I’d be working with and it was a no brainer for me.”
Radford has also made a big claim about how good this England team are: “We’ve been growing as a group and hopefully we can continue that this week against what to me looks like the best team in the competition in England.
“When I say team I don’t particularly mean on paper. They’ve got a lot of quality and cohesion in what they’re doing.
“They’ve had a long time to plan for this so you’d probably expect that as well.”