Castleford Tigers: Why Lee Radford has signed Huddersfield Giants' Kenny Edwards

Castleford Tigers have signed Huddersfield Giants’ controversial second-row Kenny Edwards on a one-year loan deal for 2022.

The explosive New Zealander, 32, was always likely to exit John Smith’s Stadium after being banned for ten games for putting a finger up the bottom of Catalans Dragons’ Sam Kasiano in July.

His suspension recently ended but he has never been recalled to the squad by Huddersfield head coach Ian Watson.

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Before that incident, the hard-running Edwards was in excellent form, illustrated by his call-up for the Combined Nations All Stars team that defeated England in June.

He will be a direct replacement for Oli Holmes, Castleford’s long-serving second-row who has followed head coach Daryl Powell to Warrington Wolves for 2022.

Tigers signed prop Suaia Matagai on a season-long loan deal from Huddersfield this year and he has impressed at Wheldon Road as has Jordan Turner following his own switch between the clubs.

Ex-Parramatta Eels forward Edwards - entering the final year of his Giants contract after joining from Catalans last season - now hopes to follow suit under incoming Castleford coach Lee Radford.

“I can’t wait, and it is amazing for me,” he said.

Huddersfield Giants' Kenny Edwards (ED SYKES/SWPIX)

“I spoke to Radders back earlier in the year, and to finally get it done, I am over the moon.

“I am good mates with Suaia Matagi and Jordan Turner who I was with at Huddersfield last year.

“I was speaking to Suaia because he started at Castleford in the pre-season and from the get-go said how professional it was.

“He loved the pre-season and I actually started to get a little jealous.

Combined Nations All Stars' Kenny Edwards in action against England. (ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX)

“The way he and Jordan have sort of turned their careers around while being there, JT has turned into one of the best wingers in the competition this year and the style of footy that Castleford plays, I really think it is going to suit me.”

Radford has now confirmed a number of new signings for 2022, Hull FC winger Bureta Faraimo, Warrington centre Jake Mamo and Wakefield Trinity loose forward Joe Westerman being the others.

Hull KR forward George Lawler and Leeds Rhinos’ Alex Sutcliffe are also understood to be moving to Wheldon Road.

Edwards explained how he had already been pursued by Radford previously.

Kenny Edwards playing for Huddersfield Giants against Castleford Tigers last season. (ALLAN MCKENZIE/SWPIX)

“When I first left Australia and was heading this way, my good mate Bureta Faraimo who was at Hull FC with Radders gave me a call and said they were keen to get me,” he said.

“At the time I had my heart set on Catalans Dragons, but I have had a bit of history with Radders in the past.

“I have spoken to players who have played under Radders and I know the way he likes to coach.

“Speaking to Radders a little earlier on in the year and when he was pitching for me to come to Castleford, everything he said pretty much summed me up as a player. He has been able to win a couple of Challenge Cups with Hull FC and to be able to start working with him, I can’t wait.

“I wish I could start pre-season next week and when the season starts next year, hopefully, we can be all guns blazing.”

Radford added: “I am so excited about working with Kenny.

“I’ve actually tried signing him on a couple of occasions, so to get to work with him now, I’m buzzing.

“I love the energy he brings on a matchday; he always plays on the edge of right and wrong and has a fantastic skillset for a back-row player.

“I am sure Kenny will be a great addition to an already strong left edge.”