Iestyn Harris to be named Salford Red Devils head coach

Iestyn Harris will replace Brian Noble at the AJ Bell Stadium Credit: PA

Iestyn Harris, the Wales head coach, will be officially appointed as the successor to Brian Noble at the Salford Red Devils today.

Owner Marwan Koukash underlined his determination to transform the fortunes of Salford by changing the club's head coach for a second time in a little over 12 months.

Andy Hay and Sean Long are expected to keep their places on the Red Devils' backroom staff, with Noble offered the chance to become director of football.

Koukash's decisive action, which was announced on his Twitter account on Friday night, came less than 24 hours after the club's dramatic 37-36 Challenge Cup win at Hull but the Red Devils' owner clearly made his mind up after their 30-8 thrashing by the same opponents a week earlier.

That was a fourth defeat in five Super League matches which saw Koukash's team drop out of the top eight.

After spending lavishly on 14 new players in the close season, Koukash had demanded a minimum top-six finish this year and warned earlier this week that he would not tolerate failure.

Bradford Bulls' Iestyn Harris is tackled by Wigan's Stuart Fielden during the Engage Super League Elimination play-off match in 2007 Credit: PA

Noble, the most successful coach in the history of Super League following his five-year spell at Bradford, was appointed as the successor to Phil Veivers last April and, along with Koukash, had virtually rebuilt the team that ended 2013 with the wooden spoon.

Harris, who succeeded Noble as head coach of Wrexham-based Super League club Crusaders in 2010, was under contract as Shaun Wane's assistant at Wigan to the end of the season but the champions readily agreed to release him with immediate effect.

Wane still has former Bradford scrum-half Paul Deacon as an assistant while academy coach John Winder stepped into Harris' role for Wigan's Challenge Cup-tie at Dewsbury on Friday night.

"It's positive for everybody," Wane said. "Iestyn has been with us for a couple of years and he's gone on to better things. That's what it is all about.

"I'm happy with what we've got at the club. John has been in the system a long time and he knows his stuff. I'm very comfortable with him and Deacs. I've no problem, that"s how it works at this club, people progress."