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Andy Last: Castleford Tigers name interim boss as new head coach on two-and-a-half-year contract

Andy Last has been appointed as Castleford Tigers' new head coach on a permanent basis after serving as interim boss since Lee Radford's departure; the former Hull FC and Wakefield Trinity assistant coach has signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the Betfred Super League club

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ - 16/03/2023 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Round 5 - Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos - the Mend A Hose Jungle, Castleford, England - Andy Last celebrates.
Image: Andy Last has been confirmed as Castleford's new head coach

Andy Last has been confirmed as Castleford Tigers’ new head coach after serving as interim boss since the departure of Lee Radford.

Last joined the Tigers as Radford's assistant ahead of the 2022 Betfred Super League season and was placed in interim charge after the former Hull FC head coach departed in March.

The 42-year-old has now signed a two-and-a-half-year contract to succeed Radford and Last is delighted to be handed the reins of a Super League club on a permanent basis for the first time.

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Highlights of the Betfred Super League match between Salford Red Devils and the Castleford Tigers.

"I have been waiting for an opportunity as a head coach for a number of years now and I feel as though I have served my apprenticeship working alongside some outstanding coaches whom I have learned a great deal from," Last, who took interim charge of Hull FC in 2020 as well, said.

"I'm looking forward to putting my mark on Castleford over the next two and a half years. It's a very honest and hardworking club which is steeped in a rich history, and you look at the players who have represented Castleford Tigers over the years, there have been some fantastic players who have worn the shirt.

"I'm looking forward to influencing the current group of players that we have and putting my stamp on things moving forward."

Former Hull FC hooker Last is highly regarded as a coach, starting his off-field career with his home-city club in the Black and Whites' reserve and youth set-ups, and has spent time as an assistant at Wakefield Trinity too along with being part of Shaun Wane's England coaching staff for last year's Rugby League World Cup.

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Andy Last said Castleford Tigers' defeat at the hands of Salford Red Devils was 'difficult to stomach'.

The Tigers are currently 10th in the Super League table with two wins from their first nine matches, with the most recent being a close-fought 14-6 defeat away to Salford Red Devils last Thursday.

Last's first game following this appointment will be Friday's visit of third-placed Hull Kingston Rovers to the Mend-A-House Jungle, live on Sky Sports, and he is targeting a new approach in attack to get Castleford back to winning ways.

"I want us to be more creative and I want us to be playing with more shape," Last said. "We want to really encourage the players to support the ball carrier and I want us to be moving the ball quickly east to west with strike plays on the edges.

"We have got some creative players at the moment, but we just need to implement a couple of tweaks and adjustments to get us playing the way we want to play.

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"We want to make sure we entertain and be brave enough to find that pass or offload. I think defensively over the last three or four weeks we have been showing a better desire to stop the opposition from scoring.

"What we need to do is try to find that energy and enthusiasm when we've got the ball and to make a little more of it when we are attacking."

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