New Hull KR assistant Danny Ward explains why he rejected Castleford Tigers

Danny Ward made a return to the rugby league fray last season when he took over at the Jungle, leading Castleford Tigers for the final six games of the Super League season helping them avoid relegation.

So impressive was the job that he did at Wheldon Road it was assumed by many fans that he would continue on for the 2024 season in a permanent role, rather than the interim basis that he’d initially signed on for. That however wasn’t the case with reports of Ward rejecting the Tigers breaking in late September.

Since then the West Yorkshire club appointed assistant coach Craig Lingard as the permanent head coach whilst Hull KR’s departed assistant, Danny McGuire, joined the Tigers project as assistant coach.

In doing so McGuire created a vacancy on Humberside and it was confirmed this week that Danny Ward has now taken that role on, the former Robins’ player set to serve as Willie Peters’ assistant for the next two seasons.

Ward has since revealed what shaped his decision and what really happened with Castleford, explaining to BBC Humberside: “It wasn’t that I turned down Castleford for this role, this role came afterwards. My decision to turn down Castleford was just based on things there both personally and the situation at Castleford, it had nothing to do with Hull KR.

He added: “This opportunity came further down the track and it was good when Willie spoke to me out of the blue. We met up, had a coffee, discussed all things rugby including where he sees the club going as well as last year.

“It excited me straight away and it was quite an easy decision to get on board and be a part of something.”

Given the success that Ward had in saving Castleford last season as well as the impressive job he did with London Broncos in getting them promoted to Super League, it was a surprise to some that he has taken an assistant role but he quashed any of those doubts fans might have when asked about the situation.

“I’ve no problem at all, I love coaching,” the 43-year-old revealed, adding: “I’ve coached juniors, academies, kids in schools. I just love coaching rugby and being around good people, good coaches and good players. Whether that comes through a head coach or assistant role, I’m happy just doing that.

“It’s about putting the team first, giving my input where I can help the team progress and that’s all I want to be a part of. I enjoy being a head coach but also an assistant as well.”

He also revealed that Rovers were the main attraction when in the job market, explaining: “I didn’t really get anywhere with offers from other people, as soon as Hull KR were on the table and I’d spoke to Willie and others at the club, I was kind of sold on making the decision.

“The decision was about moving from the south up to Hull and that was a tough decision to make for family reasons and personal reasons but once Hull KR came in, it was very hard to turn down and I’m now excited about being a part of it.”