POPULAR former Keighley Cougars head coach Craig Lingard is leaving Batley Bulldogs for Betfred Super League side Castleford Tigers.

However, while he is joining Cas immediately, he will combine his role as assistant there with current job as head coach of Batley until the end of 2023.

Lingard has been appointed as Andy Last's right-hand man at The Jungle, with the latter admitting the former's experience at Championship level will help him in recruiting the best players the second tier has to offer.

The man who led unfancied Batley to the Million Pound Game last year has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Tigers.

Before impressing at Batley, Lingard took charge of 63 games at Keighley between 2017 and 2019, winning 31 of them.

He was sacked by those in charge at Cougar Park four years ago this month, with current head coach Rhys Lovegrove replacing him.