Magic Weekend excites rugby league nut Noble

Salford coach Brian Noble says the Magic Weekend is the perfect concept for rugby league nuts like himself, but also for attracting new fans to the sport.

The former Bradford, Wigan and Great Britain coach has not been involved in the past two Magics, having last guided Crusaders to victory over the Bulls at Murrayfield in 2010.

His new City Reds side take on Widnes in Sunday’s first game at the Etihad Stadium, the second year the event has taken place in Manchester.

Noble said: “I’m a fan. If you’re not a fan of rugby league and you see that and you’re channel-flicking like I always do and you see all this at the same time with our best talent in one place on show, you can pick a fixture or you can jump in and out of fixtures and if you go you can be a Rugby League nut like me so I’m a big fan of it.

“I’ve got pleasant memories of the last one (Magic Weekend) which was up at Murrayfield when Crusaders beat Bradford and I’m hoping for a similar result this weekend. 

“For the players’ confidence I think we need a better performance than what we showed, I thought first half last week we were great but against Widnes this week we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to go again.”

Salford recorded their first ever Magic Weekend win last year, when they defeated Huddersfield 38-34.

Last year was Widnes’ first time at the event, and they were thrashed 68-4 by Warrington.

The fixtures have been juggled around for 2013, to hopefully create more competitive matches.

Noble added: “I suppose it’s swings and roundabouts, I don’t know who decides these things and there’s an argument both ways, it’s what’s best for the game and at some stage we have to play Widnes so why not this weekend.”

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