Former Leeds Rhinos star and London Broncos Head Coach Danny Ward has taken over at Castleford Tigers replacing former Hull FC man Andy Last ahead of a huge game against Wakefield Trinity which could be a do or die clash in terms of Super League survival and in many ways this appointment is the same.
Last took over early this season from Lee Radford initially as an interim Head Coach as the Tigers looked at other options with Ward linked with the job back then.
Wins over Leeds and Wakefield earnt Last the job permanently but the rise of Wakefield put him under pressure and defeat to Huddersfield Giants ended his time with the club turning to the man who guided London to a shock promotion in 2018 and nearly defied the odds to keep them in Super League in 2019.
That year Wakefield relegated London in the final game of the season and thus Ward may want some revenge.
Speaking on the appointment of both Danny and Dane, Castleford’s Director of Rugby Operations Danny Wilson touched on the process of appointing the pair and stated how encouraged he is to see them link up with the club.
Fascinatingly and somewhat strangely, the playing group was consulted:
“We started the process of having to appoint a new coach and we consulted the playing group and asked them what they felt they needed. Immediately we thought that Danny Ward was someone who fit the bill and we made contact.
“There was also a need to bring some fresh ideas in as well. We’ve been wanting to bring in talented young players into the system and it’s the same with coaches as well. Danny is still young with experience at Super League level, and we wanted to bring in another new coach with new ideas.
“We looked overseas to see who the young talented coaches are within the NRL system and Dane’s name came up. We started a process to look at that and his coaching background which was very exciting to us.
“I think it shows our intent to stay in Super League to bring not just a coach of the calibre of Danny Ward in but to also bring in an assistant who is up and coming to compliment the great work that Craig Lingard and Scott Murrell are already doing. We’ve boxed it off now and we can really move forward and kick on for the last six games of the season.”