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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Noble leaves Bulls to join Wigan
Brian Noble
Noble has been the subject of intense speculation of late
Brian Noble has been confirmed as Wigan's new head coach, ending lengthy speculation over his future.

Noble, who enjoyed huge success with the Bradford Bulls, takes over from Ian Millward, who was axed nine days ago.

The 45-year-old Great Britain boss had been the subject of intense speculation since then but finally opted to split with his hometown club on Thursday.

As a result, his former Bulls assistant Steve McNamara, 34, will take full control at Odsal.

Noble's decision to quit his post with a year left to run on his contract followed a reported breakdown in relations with Bulls chief executive Gareth Davies.

I have known Brian since his days as a player and his commitment to the game is second to none
Wigan chairman Maurice Lindsay
And Noble fired a parting shot at the club on his departure.

"I've been here 11 years as coach and maybe some people on the board were tired of my voice," he told the Bradford Telegraph & Argus.

"It was the hardest decision of my life. I have always tried to do the right thing. It has not been me that has brought this about."

The Bulls, however, insisted it had been Noble's wish to leave.

A statement from the club said: "The club wishes to make it clear that every effort was made by the board and chief executive Gareth Davies to persuade Brian to see out the rest of his contract with the Bulls."

Noble takes over an ailing Wigan side with just one win from their first 10 Super League matches this season, and his first game in charge will be against Huddersfield on Saturday.

"Wigan is both a great challenge and a great opportunity," added Noble, who has signed a deal until 2008.

"The club has a special place in rugby league history and most people in the game would like the opportunity to be in charge.

"I have had the most wonderful time at Bradford, both as a player and a coach, and I have enjoyed my time immensely.

"The club has wonderful fans and we have also had some great players and it has been my privilege to have been involved with them."

Wigan chairman Maurice Lindsay described Noble's arrival as "great news for the club".

"I have known Brian since his days as a player and his commitment to the game is second to none," said Lindsay.

"We have told him that he will have all the support in the world, including time, to restructure the side and make Wigan competitive again."

Report: BBC Five Live's David Oates

Interview: Former Wigan star Kris Radlinski

McNamara takes over at Bradford
20 Apr 06 |  Bradford
Noble decision
13 Apr 06 |  Wigan


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