RETIRING Castleford Tigers captain Danny Orr regards hanging up his boots as a beginning rather than an end.
Orr has confirmed he will quit playing at the end of the season to take up a new role on Tigers’ coaching staff.
“Physically I feel as though I could do another year and my form’s been okay, pretty good I think,” said Orr, who will face one of his former clubs when Tigers visit Wigan Warriors tonight.
“But coaching is something I really want to do. I thought if I don’t take the opportunity now there’s not many coaching jobs about and it might not be there in 12 months’ time and I could potentially miss out on a coaching career.
“That’s my thinking behind it and to be fair, I have had a fair crack at it. I am 34 and I have been doing it a long time. It’s time to retire and give someone else a go.”
Orr came through Tigers’ academy ranks and made his Super League debut in 1997. He joined Wigan in 2004 and moved on to London Broncos three years later, before rejoining Cas ahead of the 2011 season.
“This has been on-going for a while,” Orr added. “I’ve been talking to Basil [coach Ian Millward] and we’ve come to an agreement, so it’s sorted. I am going to be assisting with the first team, alongside Stuart Donlan and Basil. I’m also going to be helping with one of the younger teams.”
Orr described his playing career as a “long ride” and said he it surpassed the expectations he had when he began.
“You look back and think ‘I did this and that’, but as a 16 or 17-year-old kid I would never have imagined I would do those things,” he said.
“I have got loads of great memories and now for the rest of the season I just want to help Cas get as many wins as we can and finish the season as strong as we can.
“Personally, as always I just want to go out and do my best. It doesn’t always happen, but you go out and give everything you’ve got and do your best for your team-mates and your club. Nothing changes.”
Millward said Orr’s new role will be “a good starting point for him” on the coaching ladder.
“He is a good, clean-natured guy and he comes with a local background,” added the boss.
“We want to try and get our squad a bit bigger, with more younger kids and if we’re going to do that we need another coach on board. It’s too much for the two of us.
“All clubs have three in some capacity so it gets us up to the mark with that, which is good.”
Tonight’s clash is Tigers’ second in succession against top-two opposition, following last Sunday’s 40-26 loss to second-placed Warrington Wolves.
“It’s a tough one,” said Millward. “But I was really pleased last week.”
Wigan won 46-4 at Castleford in February, but the home side’s coach Shaun Wane insisted he regards Tigers as a serious threat.
Wane said Tigers were “by far” the better team in the second half against Warrington last week – after they had trailed 30-0 at the break – and he added: “I was impressed by Castleford.
“They scored some great tries and having Rangi Chase back has given them a lift. Rangi does his own thing and when he gets the ball it’s alarm bells.
“We need to make sure we are ready for him and we put him under pressure.”
Millward plans to select from the players beaten by Warrington, plus hooker Ryan Hudson and winger James Clare, who were named in last week’s initial 19, but did not make the matchday squad.
But he said his squad is carrying several players with “knocks” and a couple of others have developed flu symptoms in the later part of the week.
A hamstring problem means Wigan will be without captain Sean O’Loughlin, who was at loose-forward in last Saturday’s 44-6 win over London Broncos.
Jack Hughes comes into the squad alongside Anthony Gelling and Dom Crosby, who were the unused players in last week’s initial 19.
Wigan Warriors from: S Tomkins, Charnley, Goulding, Carmont, Thornley, Finch, Smith, Flower, McIlorum, Lauaki, Hansen, Hock, Tuson, Farrell, Lima, Mossop, Gelling, Crosby, Hughes.
Castleford Tigers from: Owen, Youngquest, Thompson, Griffin, Williams, Chase, Ellis, Jackson, Milner, Huby, Snitch, Millington, Emmitt, Orr, Jones, Mitchell, Massey, Hudson, Clare.
Referee: George Stokes (Wigan).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.