Calland's job safe at Halifax despite Noble's arrival

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The Independent Online

Halifax are adamant that Matt Calland's job is safe, even if they bring in Brian Noble to work alongside him. The club are understood to be close to announcing the arrival of the former Bradford, Wigan and Great Britain coach in a consultant capacity, even though they dismissed rumours yesterday as "sheer speculation".

Halifax won the Championship Grand Final last season, but have lost six out of seven games in this campaign, at a time when they are trying to show their Super League credentials.

They have a Challenge Cup tie against Bradford on Sunday, at which they are hoping for a 9000 crowd and a performance that adds credibility to their bid.

Noble has been out of work since not renewing his contract at Crusaders at the end of last season. Since then, he has been linked with a possible move to Australia and with the vacancy at Salford.

Whatever happens, however, Calland's role as head coach is secure, according to the club's chairman, Michael Steele.

"There is no question of Matt's position at the club being under threat in any way at all," he said.

The Cup programme begins with another ambitious Championship club tilting at Super League opposition when Leigh host the Catalan Dragons tonight.

Both Australia and New Zealand have injury doubts for this morning's Anzac Test on the Gold Coast. The Brisbane centre, Justin Hodges, has a recurrence of his Achilles strain, whilst the Kiwi forward, Adam Blair, is being given until the 11th hour to recover from an ankle problem.