Lee Radford has switched codes (and continents) in his next rugby league venture as he joins the Dallas Jackals Rugby Union coaching staff!
Radford began playing rugby league at 13 years old and continued on to represent his county and country at the junior level. At 15 years old, he became the youngest player to play for Hull FC in East Riding of Yorkshire, England. Radford helped Hull FC win a championship before gaining promotion the following season. The next season he made his Super League debut, which is the highest level of Rugby League in Britain.
At 18 years old, he signed a contract with the Bradford Bulls. Radford went on to play for the Bulls for 7 seasons. In 2006, he returned to Hull FC where he helped the team finish runner-up in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford stadium. In 2008, Radford was named Hull FC’s team captain.
Radford’s playing achievements include three minor premierships, three Super League Grand Final championships, two European Rugby Challenge Cup championships, and a World Club Challenge championship. He was also a member of the England International rugby team and played for Yorkshire in the Origin Series five times.
While playing in 2002, Radford began coaching at the junior level at his former amateur club East Hull ARLFC. In his second season, he was promoted to the role of head coach. Radford led the team in the Yorkshire League through the National Conference division, eventually being crowned both National Conference Grand Final winners and National Cup winners in the same season.
In 2009, Radford became the defensive coach of Hull RUFC. He led the team to finish 5 in the
National League 2 North division, the highest East Yorkshire Club had ever placed in the division. The team then went on to win the Yorkshire Cup.
Radford’s playing career came to an end in 2011. He then took on the Assistant coach role at Hull FC. Two years later, Hull FC reached the Challenge Cup final losing out to the Wigan Warriors before he was announced Head Coach for the 2014 season. As Head Coach, Radford led the team to a Challenge Cup championship in 2016 and 2017, which was the first time the club had ever won back to back titles.
“Lee joins a short list of world class rugby league coaches who have transitioned to union.” Jackals GM, Phil Camm points out, “We’ve seen the huge impact that coaches from the 13-player code can have on our game and we’re confident Lee can bring a different dynamic to the Jackals and MLR.”
Jackals Head Coach and Director of Rugby, Allen Clarke “had the benefit of seeing his coaching qualities and work ethic first-hand.” Clarke continued, “I know he’s highly motivated to play his part in supporting the growth & success of the Dallas Jackals. I’m delighted Lee is joining our coaching team as Defense Coach ahead of the MLR 2021 season. He’s a quality individual with experience and a proven track record of success in rugby as a player and a coach.”
We’re happy to welcome Lee Radford, his wife Paula and their two children Bradlee and Logan to the pack!