Noble Loses Lions Role

Noble will therefore be out of the running due to his club commitments at Wigan Warriors, while assistants Jon Sharp and Dave Lyon have also seen their contracts not renewed.

Red Hall has already begun the search for Noble’s successor according to RFL Executive Chairman Richard Lewis, who set out his reasons for wanting to see a full-time coach at the head of the national side.

 "Following our thorough review, the RFL believes the Great Britain position requires a coach's full-time focus," said Lewis.

"We believe that only a full-time coach will have the proper opportunity to positively influence plans for the Rugby League World Cup in 2008, the Tri-Nations in 2009 and further into the future."

"We would like to thank Brian Noble for his tremendously valuable contribution to the Great Britain side over the past six years during which he has worked within the Great Britain set up as both a head coach and an assistant.

"He has played a major role in the successes experienced by the Lions in that time and his personal passion for the job has always been an outstanding feature of his tenure.

"The implementation of a full-time Great Britain position creates what we believe to be the most exciting opportunity in Rugby League coaching."

No announcement has yet been made about who is in the frame for the job, although it has been speculated that Shaun McRae, who only last week resigned as Director of Rugby at South Sydney Rabbitohs, could be in the frame.

"I am interested in speaking to anyone about anything," McRae told Australian Associated Press.

"I have been to the UK and worked over there quite successfully and for a lengthy period of time, I know the system very well. I have no problem being mentioned in that role. I am keeping an open mind and seeing what eventuates."

But McRae is still keen to pursue a career in Australia’s NRL Telstra Premiership, which could be a factor in his decision if the RFL did want him as Lions coach.

"I am very keen to pursue a coaching career in Australia," he admitted. "Clearly nothing is going to come up for some time but history indicates that things will come up. Over the next six to eight months positions will become available."

Outsiders for the role could be Warrington Wolves’ Paul Cullen, current England coach, or Salford City Reds’ Karl Harrison, who was Cullen’s predecessor in the England job.

Huddersfield Giants’ Jon Sharp is another possibility, having served as an assistant in the Great Britain set-up for the last three years.

The problem with each of these candidates is that they would have to give up their club if they wanted to take the role on.

It is thought that a full-time coach would do a job similar to David Waite’s, who was Noble’s predecessor and the Lions’ last full-time coach.

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