Deacon to leave Wigan for rugby union club

Wigan assistant coach, Paul Deacon is to leave the club to join Sale Sharks RUFC as their attack and skills coach.  He is to take up his new role immediately.

Deacon joined the Wigan coaching staff after calling time on his playing career in 2011.  He has also been an assistant to Steve McNamara with the England team since 2013.

A former Great Britain and England International, Deacon spent the majority of his playing career at Bradford Bulls, making over 300 appearances for the club before joining the Warriors and winning the 2010 Grand Final and 2011 Challenge Cup.

Wigan Chairman, Ian Lenagan confirmed earlier today that Wigan had agreed to terminate Deacon’s contract.

“When Paul met with us to tell us of Sale’s approach and job offer, it became clear that he wanted to take this opportunity,” said Lenagan.

“We do not want to stand in the way of an excellent servant of the club and therefore we have negotiated to release Paul from his contract.  A significant compensation amount is being paid in order for this to happen.

“The news has come as a surprise to us; we did not foresee it happening.  We are now working closely with Shaun Wane to ensure that this does not disrupt the first team as we near the end of the regular season and get ready for the Super Eights.

“Our Rugby Director, Kris Radlinski has set things in motion to find a high quality replacement for Paul. This is a vital appointment and one we will not rush into.”

Deacon will leave Wigan with a strong recommendation from his immediate boss, Shaun Wane.  “Paul has been fantastic during his time at the club,” said Wane.

“His work-rate as a player was second to none and he has taken that into his coaching career, where he has put in many hours to help create a successful team here at Wigan.

“He won both the Super League and Challenge Cup with Wigan, as a player, and he has repeated that success as a member of the coaching staff.  The timing is not ideal but I am determined that this will not affect the first-team squad.

“We are fortunate to have another highly experienced assistant coach here at Wigan, in John Winder, who brings a tremendous amount of Rugby League knowledge to the team.

“We also have a good group of senior players, with people like Sean O’Loughlin and Matty Smith already part of the coaching teams in our Academy set-up.  Now is the time for these senior players to use their experience and really come to the fore.”

Paul Deacon said: “I would like to thank everyone at Wigan who has helped  me throughout my time at the club, both as a player and as a coach  It really was a dream come true, to play and then coach my home town club.  I have enjoyed every minute.

“I want so say a special thank you to Shaun Wane, who helped me immensely with the transition from player to coach, and for the way he has dealt with this news.

“I will be sad to leave, but this is an opportunity that I felt I couldn’t turn down.  I am looking forward to learning a new game and the challenges that will bring.”