Sharp sacked by Giants

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The Independent Online

Jon Sharp has become the third Super League coach in a fortnight to lose his job. He was sacked by Huddersfield yesterday.

Sharp, after four and a half seasons in charge at the Galpharm Stadium, was the competition's longest-serving coach, if only since the departure of Paul Cullen from Warrington a week ago. The Giants coach's namesake, Peter Sharp, was sacked by Hull days earlier.

"Under Jon Sharp, the Giants reached the Challenge Cup final two years ago and last year, after losing the first seven matches, achieved a top-six finish," said the Huddersfield chairman, Ken Davy. "Unfortunately, our results and performances this year have been a major disappointment to every-one, including Jon."

Huddersfield are 10th in Super League, only three points ahead of last-placed Castleford and with only four victories to their name. Their last defeat was by an embarrassing 48-0 margin at the Catalan Dragons. Sharp, who has also been part of the Great Britain coaching set-up for the last two years, declared himself "devastated" by that result. Nine days later, he has lost his job.

The search for his successor could centre on the Harlequins coach, Brian McDermott, a former assistant at the Giants who is highly thought of at the club. McDermott has taken Quins to the fringe of the play-offs and has insisted that he is committed to the task in London.

Another candidate could be Steve McCormack of Widnes, who in his other job, as Scotland coach, works closely with the Giants' general manager, Richard Thewlis. Then there are the two recently-deposed coaches, Cullen and the other Sharp, plus Ellery Hanley, who has quietly re-established himself in the game at Doncaster.

Huddersfield do not play until they face Wakefield on 15 June. Sharp's assistants, Paul Anderson, Ben Cooper and Keiron Purtill, will be in charge for that match if the club do not make an appointment in the meantime.

The former Huddersfield hooker Brad Drew has gone home to Australia for 10 days. Wakefield have granted him compassionate leave following a family bereavement.

Adam Mogg, the Catalan Dragons' outstanding Australian centre, has signed a three-year deal, ending fears that he could be taken on by a British Super League club.

The two most fancied side in the Challenge Cup, Leeds and St Helens, have been paired in the semi-final draw. Hull will meet Wakefield in the other semi-final. The matches are to be played on the weekend of 27 July.

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