Wigan appoint Maguire as Head Coach

Wigan have appointed Michael Maguire as their new Head Coach, replacing Brian Noble.

Maguire, 35, will step down from his current role as assistant coach with NRL champions Melbourne Storm to take up a three-year contract with the Warriors.

Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan said: “We are delighted to have secured the services of Michael as Head Coach. He is one of the most highly-rated young Coaches in the world game with particular expertise in bringing young players through successfully into First Grade Rugby League.  He has learned under a Master Coach, Craig Bellamy, at Melbourne Storm and part of his role at Wigan is to develop a hierarchy of excellent future Coaches for the Club.

“Michael has impressed me with his abilities as a Coach, Conditioner and Teacher and with his enthusiasm to be given this opportunity with Wigan in Super League.”

With the announcement in mid-September by the RFL of the revised Border Agency Requirements for visa qualifications for Super League Head Coaches, the Wigan Club successfully applied for and received a Governing Body Endorsement from the RFL and a Certificate of Sponsorship for Maguire which are the prerequisites to the grant of a visa.

Speaking from Australia, Maguire said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for me and I am thrilled to have been asked to become Head Coach at the world-famous Wigan Warriors Club.

“Wigan has some great structures in place, particularly with the development of young quality players through their ranks. I have spoken to many people in the game and everyone has good things to say about the Wigan Club. I feel that the Warriors are certainly heading in the right direction and I can’t wait to get started.  I am looking forward to living and working in Wigan with the fans and the local community. 

“I would also like to thank everyone at Melbourne Storm and all the coaches in Australia I’ve had the good fortune to work with.”

The Warriors made the announcement at a press conference this morning, but yesterday Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy all but confirmed his assistant would be swapping Victoria for Wigan.

Bellamy said: “He’s a very talented coach. He thinks he’s ready for a head-coaching job and I think he is too. He’s going to get a chance at Wigan.

“He’s done a great job for us.”

Maguire is believed to have beaten off competition from former Wigan favourite Adrian Lam and David Fairleigh.

He becomes Wigan’s fourth Australian coach during the Super League era, after John Monie (1997-1999), Stuart Raper (2001-2003) and Ian Millward (2005-2006).

Brian Noble confirmed his departure from the DW Stadium following Saturday’s play-off loss to St Helens. The former Bradford coach, widely tipped to be moving to Celtic Crusaders, guided the Warriors to two Challenge Cup semi-finals and to within one game of the Grand Final in each of the last two seasons.

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