LEE Radford has revealed how a text of condolence over losing a rugby league coaching job led to his new role in rugby union in Dallas.
And he cannot wait to get stuck into the 15-a-side code’s ‘dark arts’ at Dallas Jackals, while leaving recruitment down to other people.
The former Hull FC boss, sacked on the eve of the sport’s Covid-19 shutdown, will head out to Texas in November after landing the job of defence coach at the new Major League Rugby franchise.
Now he has revealed just how him sending ex-Ospreys RU boss Allen Clarke a message when he left his role eventually sent him Stateside.
“Allen spent a week with us at Hull last year to have a look at the set up and the organisation,” Radford recalled.
“When he was released halfway through Osprey’s season, I sent him a message telling him that if he ever wanted to come back to Hull, he’d be more than welcome.
“Then when I was released he got in touch. I replied saying rugby union was a road I wanted to go down and could I come down and go through some of the finer details?
“He said, ‘I can go one better. I’ve just been appointed at Dallas and I’m after a defence coach. Would you be willing to do it?’”
Radford coaching rugby union is not as unlikely as it sounds. After retiring as a league player, he went to Hull RUFC, where he played and coached.
And while some things are similar, he cannot wait to pick up how to really go about scrums, rucks and mauls.
“Some things are transferable, but some parts of union are absolutely opposite,” added Radford. “The ‘dark arts’ is something I’m really looking forward to sinking my teeth into.
“I’ve got plenty of time before I go out there and I may go into a few union clubs to speak to former league players that are now coaching there.”
Radford will be up against former England captain Chris Robshaw, who has signed for San Diego Legion.
But he is more than happy to no longer be involved in buying and selling players, saying: “I’ve had a look at a couple, in Japanese rugby and the French second division.
“And one thing I’m definitely looking forward to is not being involved in recruitment. In rugby league coaching, you’re responsible for who comes in, who goes out and painting the changing room walls!”
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