Big names in the frame for Salford job
Veteran coaches Brian Noble and Brian Smith are on the shortlist to succeed Phil Veivers at Salford City Reds, with an appointment set to be made “within weeks”, chief executive Ed Farish has confirmed.
Former Great Britain boss Noble, 52, has been without a club since quitting Crusaders at the end of 2010, while Australian Smith, 59, has recently been working in rugby union after losing his job at Sydney Roosters last year.
“I don’t want to talk names but those that have been bandied around are not too far off the mark,” Farish told Press Association Sport.
Interim coach Alan Hunte, placed in temporary charge following the decision to sack Veivers five matches into the season, is also on the list.
Noble is expected to watch the City Reds in action against St Helens at Langtree Park on Friday while Farish confirmed that Salford’s ambitious new owner Marwan Koukash has made contact with Smith.
Smith, the older brother of Warrington Wolves’ former England coach Tony Smith, has coached at Hull FC and Bradford Bulls as well as Illawarra, St George, Parramatta and Newcastle.
“The shortlist is still being put together but we’ve started to talk to people now,” Farish added. “I think we’re talking weeks rather than months. We’re getting closer but it’s important that we get the right person.”
No announcement is expected until director Andrew Chalmers and director of rugby Graham Lowe arrive back from New Zealand in mid-April.
Meanwhile, the City Reds have suffered a major blow with the loss of Australian forward Shannon McPherson for around six weeks with a knee injury.
The former South Sydney prop, who is in his second season in Super League, sustained the injury at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats nine days ago and has undergone surgery.
“It’s definitely a loss,” said Farish. “He’s been good for us this year.”
Farish confirmed that there are unlikely to be any new signings made by the club until the coaching situation is finalised.