Ex-Leeds Rhinos player and Castleford Tigers coach Danny Ward reveals reason for Hull KR move

Former Leeds Rhinos player and Castleford Tigers coach Danny Ward has outlined his reasons for joining their betfred Super League rivals Hull KR.
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Ward masterminded London Broncos’ promotion to the top-flight five years ago and helped keep Tigers in the competition during a six-game spell as coach at the end of the 2023 season, but turned down the chance to stay on next term.

He will work under Hull KR team boss Willie Peters, along with fellow assistants Dave Hodgson and Brett Delane and development coach Shaun Kenny-Dowall. Outlining his reasons for joining the Robins, Ward, 43, said: “They’ve had a great year as a playing group and you also see from the IMG gradings Hull KR are a club on the up.

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“I want to be a part of that and help them continue pressing forward. It’s an exciting time, I can’t wait to get going.”

Then-coach Danny Ward celebrates Castleford's win over Hull FC in September. Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com.Then-coach Danny Ward celebrates Castleford's win over Hull FC in September. Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com.
Then-coach Danny Ward celebrates Castleford's win over Hull FC in September. Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com.

Ward made 20 Super League appearances with Hull KR in 2007 and also played for Rhinos, Castleford and Harlequins RL during a 12-year career. He insisted: “It’s great to be back. I had a good time when I played at Hull KR.

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“The clubs you’ve been involved with before seem to hold a special place in your heart and I can’t wait; it’s a club that’s doing fantastic things on and off the field.”

Ward is also relishing working with Peters, who he described as “a really good bloke first and foremost”. He said: “Our chats seemed to flow as we spoke about rugby, life and everything straight away. I’m all about working with good people, getting on and building relationships with people.

Danny Ward tackles Canterbury Bulldogs' Tony Grimaldi during Leeds Rhinos' 2005 World Club Challenge victory at Elland Road. Picture by Ben Duffy/SWpix.comDanny Ward tackles Canterbury Bulldogs' Tony Grimaldi during Leeds Rhinos' 2005 World Club Challenge victory at Elland Road. Picture by Ben Duffy/SWpix.com
Danny Ward tackles Canterbury Bulldogs' Tony Grimaldi during Leeds Rhinos' 2005 World Club Challenge victory at Elland Road. Picture by Ben Duffy/SWpix.com
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“If you’ve got that from the start, whether it’s players or staff, it’s key to success. I’ve always been about getting the right people involved and that came across straight away through chatting with Willie.”

Ward replaces his former Leeds teammate Danny McGuire who left Rovers at the end of the season to become an assistant-coach at Castleford. Delaney, who he will work alongside, is also an ex-Rhinos player.

Peters said: “We’re delighted to have Danny on board. We’re getting a quality person and a very experienced coach, with plenty of rugby league knowledge [who has] gained valuable experience at the top of the game.

“Danny chose to come to Hull KR, which says a lot about where the club’s at and also says a lot about Danny and his intentions for what he wants to do at Hull KR. His role will specifically be focused on our defence along with Brett Delaney. With that we have two guys who have been there and done it at the highest standard in Super League. I’m looking forward to seeing them both take our defence to a new level in 2024.”