Lee Radford has ‘come to terms’ with his surprise exit at Hull FC, says Josh Griffin

JOSH Griffin says his former Hull FC coach Lee Radford has “come to terms” with being sacked and the squad will feel like they are starting a whole new season when they do finally resume action after shutdown.

Josh Griffin. Picture: SWpix.com

The Airlie Birds centre saw his game develop markedly under Radford after joining from Salford Red Devils ahead of 2017.

Griffin won the Challenge Cup with Hull in his debut season and has since established himself as one of Super League’s top three-quarters, being called into Shaun Wane’s England plans in March.

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But the popular Radford was sacked after a 38-4 loss against Warrington Wolves on March 12 – the East Yorkshire club’s last game before the coronavirus closed the sport down.

Griffin said: “I played golf with Radders last week and it was the first time I’d seen him since he lost his job.

“He’s good and is in good spirits. He’s enjoying himself as much as he can and he’s got some bars which needed refurbishing so he’s been on with that.

“He’s in a good place mentally and has come to terms with what happened.

“He’s become a good friend to me over the years – not just a coach – and it was nice to see him. Even if I did lose the game!”

Long-serving assistant coach Andy Last was put in temporary charge but, of course, has been on furlough with the entire squad since the end of March with players still training on their own.

Super League hopes to be up and running again at some point in August and Griffin remains confident they have the potential to challenge for honours.

After a busy off-season for recruitment, securing a number of big-name signings such as Tonga second-row Manu Ma’u and Great Britain international Josh Jones as well as bringing Mahe Fonua back from the NRL, 2020 promised so much for the ambitious Black and Whites.

Indeed, when they started the campaign with a stunning 30-4 win at Leeds Rhinos it only enhanced a belief in many that this could be the year they finally win a first league title since 1983.

A derby win over Hull KR followed but they then lost three successive games and a scratchy 27-16 success at Wakefield Trinity only papered over the cracks before that dismal display against the Wire brought Radford’s long reign to an end.

But Griffin said: “We haven’t had chance to put things right yet. And, when we do get back, with Lasty in there now, it will be like a whole new year.

“It’ll be a new experience for us all and I’m looking forward to seeing the boys. We’ll have a fully fit squad to choose from after this time off as well. We were struggling with injuries before but we’ve been able to get them right now.”

He is eager to see what changes Last makes to try and improve performances.

The 30-year-old continued: “Lasty has the respect of the squad.

“I call him a rugby geek and he’s all right with me saying that; he just loves the game so much.

“If he gets the boys to buy into his ideas, he could go on and have a really good career as a head coach.

“We’re looking forward to getting back into it.”

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