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Page last updated at 08:25 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 09:25 UK

Harris hints at Crusaders switch

Iestyn Harris
Iestyn Harris represented Wales in two rugby league World Cups

Iestyn Harris says he could form part of a new-look coaching team at Celtic Crusaders with Wigan boss Brian Noble following the departure of John Dixon.

The ex-Wales dual code international says Noble's move to the Crusaders is "rugby league's worst kept secret".

"I'm speaking to people at the moment to maybe make that a possibility," said former Great Britain star Harris.

"It is something that would certainly interest me and if I get the opportunity then fantastic."

Australian Dixon had been coach of the Welsh club since their formation in 2005 but left following their debut season in Super League after finishing bottom of the table.

Noble, a former Great Britain coach who won three Grand Finals, two Challenge Cups and three World Club Championships with Bradford Bulls, is favourite to take over.

Despite guiding the Warriors to the Challenge Cup semi-finals and the Super League play-offs this season, his position at the DW Stadium seems far from secure.

Harris is currently assistant coach of Featherstone Rovers with one year left on his contract at the National League One side.

Wigan coach Brian Noble
If Brian did take that job it would a fantastic acquisition for the Crusaders

Former Great Britain star Iestyn Harris

But the Welshman, who played under Noble for both Bradford and Great Britain, says he would relish the opportunity to join up with Noble at Crusaders.

"It is something that excites me because I'm starting on the coaching ladder," the 33-year-old told BBC Sport.

"Long-term I do want to coach in Super League.

"The Welsh connection will be fantastic but you must take opportunities as and when they come along, especially when you are starting your coaching career.

"If that comes along at the Crusaders, then it would be great to grab that to build and improve my coaching career.

"If I can be part of the team that takes them on over the next two years into the next franchise, then that is something that is of real interest to me."

Harris echoed the thoughts of fellow dual-code great Jonathan Davies when he said the recruiting Noble would be a huge statement about the Welsh club's long-term ambitions.

"Brian Noble has been linked with the job for quite some time," said Harris. "It has been the worst kept secret in rugby league.

"If Brian did take that job, it would a fantastic acquisition for the Crusaders because he is the type of coach that gets the best out of his players and he knows how to select a side to win games.

"Essentially, he will have a great opportunity because there are not too many guys signed on for next year so he'll have a blank piece of paper.

"Brian will be able to handpick the players he wants to bring in and he'll certainly make them competitive.

"If he gets the opportunity to come into the Crusaders, I think they'll go from strength to strength."



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see also
Davies backs Noble for Crusaders
15 Sep 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Ex-Crusaders coach lands new job
15 Sep 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Castleford 35-22 Celtic Crusaders
13 Sep 09 |  Rugby League
Dixon to leave Celtic Crusaders
12 Sep 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Deported Crusaders claim awards
12 Sep 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Noble link 'good for Crusaders'
11 Sep 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Noble not fazed by Wigan rumours
25 Jun 09 |  Wigan
Noble job under threat at Wigan
21 Jun 09 |  Wigan
Harris excited by Welsh Crusaders
04 Feb 09 |  Celtic Crusaders
Featherstone secure Harris deal
18 Sep 08 |  Rugby League
Harris retires from Britain duty
10 May 06 |  Rugby League
Super League Show
17 Feb 08 |  Rugby League


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