Paul Deacon: Sale Sharks bring in Wigan Warriors assistant coach

Paul Deacon
Paul Deacon has been Shaun Wane's number two at Wigan since Iestyn Harris left

Sale Sharks have brought in Wigan Warriors assistant coach Paul Deacon as their attack and kicking coach.

The ex-Great Britain scrum-half, 36, has spent his entire career in rugby league, having joined Wigan's coaching staff after his retirement in 2011.

Deacon, who played for Oldham, Bradford and his hometown club Wigan, helped coach England in the 2013 World Cup.

"He was an outstanding rugby league player and a 90% goal kicker," Sale boss Steve Diamond told BBC Sport.

"We searched the world looking for somebody to come in who had the qualities that we didn't already have here.

Paul Deacon's playing days
Former Great Britain and England international Deacon spent the majority of his playing career with Bradford Bulls, making 324 appearances before joining Wigan, with whom he was a Grand Final winner in 2010, as well as being part of the 2011 Challenge Cup-winning team.
Since retiring in 2011, Deacon has spent four years as part of the Wigan coaching staff, as well as assisting England coach Steve McNamara.

"He's played with defence coach Mike Forshaw at Bradford Bulls when they won everything and he's a thoroughly humble guy."

Deacon, who joined Wigan in 2009, will take on some of Bryan Redpath's duties at Sale, after he left to become director of rugby at Yorkshire Carnegie.

"I've been in rugby league all my life, since I was nine years old," said Deacon. "It's always hard to leave a job you love. My gut has been churning for the last 10 days. It came completely out of the blue. I didn't go looking for it, but it was too good an opportunity to miss."

"It really was a dream come true to play and then coach my hometown club. I want to say a special thankyou to Wigan coach Shaun Wane who has helped me immensely with transition from player to coach and for the way he has dealt with this."

"I was surprised," said Wane. "It's sad for rugby league and I'm gutted he's going. But I fully understand his reasons and I wish him all the best."