'The players will decide': Ex-Hull FC man Andy Last wants to be Castleford Tigers' next head-coach

Castleford Tigers’ interim-coach Andy Last has confirmed he wants a crack at the job on a full-time basis.
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Last stepped up from his role as assistant-boss at the start of this week after Lee Radford left the club and will take charge for the first time when Tigers visit Huddersfield Giants on Friday.

The 41-year-old had almost a full season as caretaker-coach of Hull FC in 2020, after Radford was sacked, but wasn’t kept on.

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"It's something I definitely want to consider," he said of the Tigers role. "Ultimately I think it will be the players that decide whether I get the job with their performances and turning good performances into results.”

Tigers' interim-coach Andy Last. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Tigers' interim-coach Andy Last. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Tigers' interim-coach Andy Last. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Last pledged: "It's definitely something I want to do. I had a taste of it at Hull FC and felt I did a reasonable job there.

“I've got a lot of experience. I've worked with and picked the brains of some top, top coaches and been fortunate to coach some top, top players as well.

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"I'm confident in what I'm able to do and hopefully I'll get the opportunity to do that here. All I can do is trust my own ability and what's the right way to coach this group of players.

Tigers' Niall Evalds could be sidelined for up to six matches after suffering a shoulder injury against Wigan last week.
Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com.Tigers' Niall Evalds could be sidelined for up to six matches after suffering a shoulder injury against Wigan last week.
Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com.
Tigers' Niall Evalds could be sidelined for up to six matches after suffering a shoulder injury against Wigan last week. Picture by John Clifton/SWpix.com.
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"Hopefully you'll see a turnaround in our results. If we get the results and quality performances, hopefully that will be enough for me to get the job.”

Recalling what happened in his debut as Hull’s temporary coach. Last said: "I got beaten by 50 against Salford, so anything better than that is going to be a positive!

“I'm desperate for us to get off to a good start. Hopefully we can do that and showcase some bits we've been working on and get back to playing that expansive brand of rugby which is associated with Castleford."

George Griffin, Alex Sutcliffe, Muizz Mustapha, Daniel Smith and Jason Qareqare are all vying for a recall to Tigers’ 17 against Giants, but Niall Evalds is facing four-six weeks on the sidelines after suffering a shoulder injury last week.

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Huddersfield Giants: from Marsters, Bibby, Lolohea, Fages, Hill, Peats, Greenwood, Jones, McQueen, Yates, Golding, English, Rushton, O’Brien, Wilson, Cudjoe, Livett, Russell, Mason, Ashworth, Pryce.

Castleford Tigers: from Eden, Fonua, Faraimo, Widdop, Miller, Lawler, McShane, Griffin, Edwards, Mellor, Westerman, Massey, Sutcliffe, Milner, Broadbent, Vete, Mustapha, Smith, Matagi, Qareqare, Watts.

Referee: Tom Grant (Leeds). Kick-off: Friday, 8pm.