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Deacon to leave Wigan for Sale

Former Great Britain international Paul Deacon is to leave his job as assistant coach of Wigan and switch codes with Premiership club Sale Sharks.

The former Bradford scrum-half, 36, who is to become attack/skills coach of the Sharks, announced his decision after Wigan's 26-24 win over Super League leaders Leeds at the DW Stadium on Thursday .

Wigan coach Shaun Wane, who described the announced as "sad for rugby league", says he will plug the gap from within, but i t leaves England looking for a new assistant coach ahead of the three-match Test series against New Zealand at the end of the season.

"It's always hard to leave a job you love and my gut has been churning for the last 10 days," said Deacon, who will take up his new job on Monday.

"I've been in rugby league all my life, since I was nine years old.

"It came completely out of the blue, I didn't go looking for it, but me and my family have decided it was too good an opportunity to miss."

Deacon spent the majority of his playing career at Bradford, where he made 324 appearances before joining his home-town club Wigan with whom he won the 2010 Grand Final and 2011 Challenge Cup.

Wane said: "I was surprised. It's sad for rugby league and I'm gutted he's going.

"I fully understand his reasons and I wish him all the best."

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