Harris appointment is Koukash’s biggest gamble yet

The reaction to Iestyn Harris’ appointment at Salford has been mixed to say the least.

The situation with Brian Noble, a good friend of Harris, has not helped, but the main problem fans on social media have is the 37-year-old’s lack of previous success.

Obviously this does not refer to Harris as a player.

After a record breaking move to Leeds in 1997, he became one of the best half-backs in British rugby league, before switching codes to rugby union.

Following his return to Super League with Bradford, and a short stint with Featherstone, he retired and moved into full-time coaching – where he has never really matched his on-field achievements.

It will be officially announced later in the week that Harris is stepping down from his role with the Welsh national team, ending a six year association with the Dragons.

During his tenure Wales have often struggled, and in the 2013 World Cup, despite home advantage, they failed to win a game.

At club level his record is equally as uninspiring.

In late 2009 Harris was appointed as assistant coach to Noble at the Crusaders. A year down the line, Noble resigned after the club had made the play-offs in only their second Super League season.

Harris took over, but with serious financial issues off the field, he failed to build on their previous efforts and Crusaders finished bottom of the table with only six wins.

Since then Harris has worked alongside Shaun Wane at Wigan, and although he helped the Warriors to the double last year, it is easy to agree with fans saying Marwan Koukash’s decision to go with Harris is a huge gamble.

For Harris to be judged properly he does require another shot, but whether or not the gamble will pay out remains to be seen.

Koukash, and rightly so, says that Noble’s Super League results have not been good enough so far this season.

At the end of the day it is his money that has been spent, and if he wants an immediate return, then maybe a different direction is needed.

Harris seems to be the type of coach Koukash craves.

He will be hands on, and the conditioning of the players – something Koukash has not been happy with – should improve.

Harris is a big character, and with the likes of Sean Long and Shane Flanagan around him, the players should respond. The only problem is if they don’t – where does that leave Harris?

And more importantly for the fans, where does it leave Salford?

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