Wigan Warriors’ coach Matt Peet shocked at Lee Radford exit

Wigan head coach Matt Peet admitted he was “surprised” at Lee Radford’s departure from Castleford Tigers – days after his team dealt them a 36-0 thrashing.

And the Warriors boss hopes the former Samoa assistant coach was not taking the news too heavily, predicting he will be back coaching soon.

Radford paid the price for a poor start to the Super League season with Yorkshire-based Tigers falling to three straight defeats, departing today by mutual consent.

Peet said: “I was surprised – it’s not my place to speculate, he’s a quality coach.

“He’s a well respected coach, he’s someone you expect not to be out of the job for long.”

The Super League only offers 12 head coach positions, and Peet stressed the importance of solidarity between those occupying them – something he experienced when he began his current Warriors role at the start of last year.

He said: “Behind the coach there is a person and a family, and I suppose you get a bit more empathy when people are going through tough times.

 “Although there is a rivalry, I think there’s an understanding of the pressures of the job.

“Certainly when I started last year, a lot of the senior, more experienced coaches reached out to me and offered support.

“I know all the other coaches at the moment will just be hoping that Lee is alright, I won’t be the only one.”

Among those coaches will be Steve McNamara, head coach of France-based side Catalan Dragons – who will travel to the DW Stadium on Thursday.

He said: “Since Steve got to grips with them, I think they are one of the teams you expect them to be in the top four of the Super League. 

“I think they’re one of the teams that you’ve come to rely on as being in the mix.”

The Warriors currently sit third in the league standings just behind the Dragons, and asked if 2023 could be the year their opponents could achieve Super League glory, Wigan-born Peet added: “I don’t see why not”.

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