Noble expecting positive welcome on return to Odsal
Saturday 24 February 2007
Brian Noble today goes back to Odsal for the first time since leaving Bradford. The Wigan coach leftthe club, at which he had spent three decades, last season amid controversy but says he is looking forward to his return.
"I've been back a couple of times as a spectator," he said. "I'm excited about it, but I'm sure there'll be an emotional element as well. I just hope I go into the right dug-out."
Noble, who steered Wigan clear of relegation after his mid-season switch, says he is expecting no hostility, despite having raided the Bulls for Stuart Fielden and Michael Withers, both of whom also make their first returns to Odsal.
"I have nothing but fond memories of my 30 years at the club," said Noble. "I probably didn't leave the way I wanted to but that was out of my hands. There are some good people and I appreciate what they did for me. I don't regret leaving Bradford. I've got some good friends there and most of my family are still season-ticket holders there. They'll be the ones throwing the bread buns!"
Noble needs a convincing performance from his side after defeat by Warrington and a close win over the Catalan Dragons in their first two matches.
Bradford have looked better than many expected and have three forwards - Andy Lynch, Chris McKenna and Ian Henderson - back in contention after injuries. If Lynch plays, it will be his first game since breaking his leg last season.
The Bulls could also include Nathan McAvoy, who spent the latter stages of last season aiding Wigan's survival effort. Noble wanted to keep him on the books this season, but instead he was allowed to leave and rejoin Bradford.
In today's other match, Ashley Gibson returns to the Leeds side for the trip to Perpignan to play the Dragons. The versatile young back suffered ankle damage two weeks ago.
There has been less cheerful news this week of the prop, Nick Scruton, who will be out for four months with a stress fracture of the foot. Jordan Tansey will stand in for Matt Diskin at hooker.
The Rhinos' coach, Tony Smith, has called up Ian Kirke, Carl Ablett and Danny Williams. The French side are still without Stacey Jones and Jamal Fakir, but have impressed so far this season, despite that late defeat by Wigan.
The loss of Jones for the first two months of the season has been softened by the early form of Casey McGuire, who could have been playing for the Brisbane Broncos in last night's World Club Challenge had he not decided to try his hand in Super League.
Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce: Manchester United striker 'agrees to personal terms' with Turkish side
Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs posts bizarre video of his Miami holiday being invaded by an iguana
Women's World Cup 2015: England secure third place as they beat Germany in extra time with penalty by Fara Williams
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners will only consider 'astronomical offer' from Atletico Madrid for Santi Cazorla
Why is it that there’s no women’s team at Manchester United? - Michael Calvin
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll