No divided loyalties for Lee Radford as Samoa assistant looks to cause home upset

Matt Parish Lee Radford Samoa Credit: Alamy
Matt Parish Lee Radford Samoa Credit: Alamy

Samoa defence coach Lee Radford says he has no divided loyalties as the former England international looks to help knock out the hosts from the World Cup.

The side will have the chance to avenge their 60-6 opening defeat to England in the opening game this Saturday in the semi-finals of the men’s tournament at the Emirates Stadium, London.

Samoa went on to win their remaining two group fixtures over Greece and France before stunning Tonga 20-18 in the quarter-finals to reach the semi-finals for the first time in their history.

And Radford is hoping to be a part of more success with the side under head coach Matt Parish, with a place in the final up for grabs against either New Zealand or Australia, who meet Friday in Leeds.

Lee Radford: It’s been a great experience

“It is unique, especially with some of the things I’ve done,” Radford said on his time in the Samoa camp so far.

“It’s been really enjoyable, definitely different to what you get in club-land, how religious they are and the priority they put on that and all the ceremonies they have for presentations.

“It’s been a great experience. There was a big appeal with the playing roster they have and to have the chance to work with some fantastic players.”

The Castleford head coach will go up against his club assistant in Andy Last this weekend, who is a part of Shaun Wane’s coaching staff.

The winner will help lead their respective side out at Old Trafford at the World Cup Final. And for the loser, they will be tasked with the job of getting pre-season underway with the Tigers for the 2023 Super League season.

“I’m really pleased for him,” Radford said of his club assistant.

“We’ve been in touch but nothing World Cup-wise, just club-land because the season starts next week.

“It’s the first week of pre-season so whoever gets knocked out on Saturday gets the short straw.”

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