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Page last updated at 13:46 GMT, Friday, 4 September 2009 14:46 UK

Dixon quiet on Crusaders future

John Dixon
John Dixon has been Celtic Crusaders coach since 2005

John Dixon remains coy about his future as Celtic Crusaders coach amid growing speculation that he is to be replaced by Wigan Warriors boss Brian Noble.

Former Great Britain chief Noble admits he is in unsure whether he will be in charge at Wigan next season.

Noble is out of contract at the end of the season while Dixon was rumoured to be taking a Crusaders development role.

Dixon said: "This time of the year every club goes under review and there are plans and processes in place."

Noble, who joined the Warriors in 2006 after five years as head coach at Bradford Bulls, has been heavily linked with a move to the Welsh club as speculation mounts over his future at the DW Stadium.

Dixon, who joined the Crusaders project after 10 years on the coaching staff at Brisbane Broncos, has done much to increase rugby league participation at grassroots level in a South Wales area that is traditionally a hotbed for rugby union.

So a development position for Dixon seems a distinct possibility for the Australian coach.

"Clubs by definition have to improve on a year in year out basis," Dixon told BBC Sport.

Wigan coach Brian Noble
Is it true I don't know where I'm going to be next season? Yes

Wigan Warriors coach Brian Noble

"I understand the speculation and it comes across to the players as well.

"The most important thing for me is the club survives.

"There has been an enormous amount of groundwork made over the last four years to establish this sport in Wales and to give it a foothold and give it something which has some substance.

"Individuals at clubs change but my hope in the next two years this club goes further and becomes stronger to show it has got a place in Wales."

The Crusaders are making no comment on media rumours linking them with Noble as Dixon, who has been Crusaders coach since their inception in 2005, is also out of contract at the end of the season.

Crusaders chairman Leighton Samuel, whose club are in the first year of their three-year Super League franchise, told the Sport Wales show: "We've got to look forward to next year and make a lot of changes.

"The first season is out of the way and our expectations weren't high, but we've not done well on or off the field."

Dixon said in August he was happy at the club, but stopped short of confirming he would be with them next season.

"There'll be some changes next year for sure, some forced rather than considered," added Dixon.


"I'm enjoying my life here... There's no job with less secure of tenure than coaching. We've grown fantastically as a club... maybe too fast. But this is year one, a stepping stone, we must learn and grow from this."

The Super League new boys lie bottom of the table with three wins from their 25 Super League matches while Noble's Wigan booked their place in the end-of-season play-offs with victory over Castleford last week.

Wigan coach Noble admitted: "Is it true I don't know where I'm going to be next season? Yes.

"You can let these kind of things upset you but I'm determined to finish the season with as many games as possible for Wigan. What will be, will be."

Earlier this season it emerged his job was offered to New Zealand's World Cup-winning boss Stephen Kearney.

But Noble insists: "I'm not worried in the slightest. I'm confident as a person and as a coach.

"All I can say is that I'm in the same position, working as hard as I possibly can here.

"I can only control what I'm in control of. If things haven't developed, then obviously you do have to look at your future.

"That's a natural progression of life. I'm comfortable where I am. I'm working extremely hard for Wigan."

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see also
Crusaders 16-42 Huddersfield
05 Sep 09 |  Rugby League
Noble not fazed by Wigan rumours
25 Jun 09 |  Wigan
Bulls quash Noble return rumours
01 May 09 |  Rugby League
Noble job under threat at Wigan
21 Jun 09 |  Wigan
Dixon extends stay at Crusaders
25 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Crusaders an 'easy' visa target
28 Aug 09 |  Crusaders
Crusaders see hope after misery
24 Aug 09 |  Crusaders
Crusaders to make Newport switch
21 Aug 09 |  Crusaders
Noble leaves Bulls to join Wigan
20 Apr 06 |  Wigan
Sport Wales: The TV programme
28 Sep 09 |  Wales
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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