Kenny Edwards delighted to find his home with Castleford Tigers

In-form back row Kenny Edwards is pleased to call Castleford home.

By Tony Harber
Friday, 24th June 2022, 11:22 am
Updated Friday, 24th June 2022, 11:25 am

The 32-year-old New Zealander is aiming to leave a legacy at Castleford Tigers after signing a three-year contract extension, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2025 season.

Edwards believes he has finally found a place he can call home and has been a big success since joining the Tigers on loan from Huddersfield Giants this year.

He admits to doing a U-turn on his future after starting the year with the intention of heading back to Australia with his young family at the end of this season.

Kenny Edwards has signed a new a three-year contract extension with Castleford Tigers.

“It was a hard decision but one I’m comfortable with now,” said Edwards.

“My kids were missing family and the missus wanted to head home. As the year has gone on, my partner started to come around and enjoy it here.

“Parramatta was my home and is all I’d known in the NRL. I didn’t leave there on the best terms and it was hard for me to move on mentally.

“Since then I’ve struggled to find somewhere I belong. I spent a couple of years at Catalans and then I was at Huddersfield.

“This feels like home to me and where I belong. I’ve only been here half a year but I’ve played the best football of my whole career here.

“The biggest thing was it feels like home with the coaching staff and the players. I’ve been searching for that feeling since I left Parramatta.

“From day one I’ve loved it here, the coaching staff have got behind me, the fans here have really got behind me and I love running out at The Jungle every week we can. My family is happy here now in England, that was probably the main thing for me – wait until the sun comes out and ask them to stay!

“I’m over the moon to get it done and I’m looking forward to the back end of the year.”

Edwards celebrated his 150th career match in May, which for a man of his age may be lower than expected, but Edwards feels he is getting better as he gets older, especially with the Tigers under head coach Lee Radford.

He explained: “I think this year has been a really good eye-opener for me, I’m getting a bit older but this year on the field is probably one of the best I’ve had. That was a good indication for me that there are still a lot of miles in my legs and a long way to go yet.

“I wear my heart on my sleeve, every day I come in and if I was down someone would know about it, but I wake up in the morning and can’t wait to come to work.

“I think our personalities go together, I’m a happy-go-lucky sort of bloke, and he (Radford) is too. We had that tough start and all I could hear was his big ugly laugh! So that sort of took the edge off, he is not the bloke that comes in and is jumping down your throat, so we have a good relationship, and we’ll continue to build on that.”

Edwards has been delighted with the support shown to him by supporters.

He added: “I’d like to say thanks to the fans, they’ve been patient, the last couple of home games I’d walk around and they’re screaming at me ‘Get that deal signed!’.

"I love playing here, I love playing at The Jungle, we come out here at every home game and it’s packed out. At the back end of the year hopefully, we can get some wins for them.”

Tigers boss Radford said: “He’s been really good for us Kenny since he’s come through the door, I’ve got a good relationship with him, and I actually tried signing him previously whilst at Hull.

“He sort of epitomises a lot of what we want to be about in how he approaches training and the games as well. He’s been really, really good with the young fellas, quick to jump into them but he is also quick to pull them and do extras with them after sessions, whether that be skill or video, whatever it may be. I think from a senior bloke that is fantastic.

"I’ve made no secret that we want to try and get our youth structure better, we’re doing that, and having senior blokes like Kenny can really help that.

“The age he’s at, he’s not played a lot of rugby for his age, it was only his 150th career game the other week. Although he is older, his actual footy age is much younger than that, I think.

“I think it’s a good fit, for what I look for in a player he brings a lot of those attributes, off the field he’s a champion bloke and been really good around the place, I think the boys have really taken to him as well.”