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Brian Noble opens up on the “secret meetings” which led to Super League’s greatest ever signing

In the early 2000s, Bradford Bulls were a force to be reckoned with.

They played in five consecutive Grand Finals winning three and becoming the first team to win the treble in 2003.

All this was starting to fade in 2005 but the Bulls marched to one last hoorah as they defeated Leeds Rhinos in the Grand Final 15-6.

After the game, skipper Jamie Peacock lifted the Super League trophy in his final act as a Bull before joining the Rhinos in 2006 in what has to be considered the best transfer in Super League history with Peacock helping establish Leeds as a dynasty.

Nearly two decades on from that huge signing by the Rhinos, Brian Noble opened up on how it happened including secret meetings and the balancing of books.

He said: “It was huge. It was clearly documented that I didn’t want it to happen, no body wanted the break up of that particular team in 2005.

“That was a success story itself, they deserved more money than Bradford could offer and people can pick them off.

“People need to look at what we kept as well. Your Vainikolos and your Hapes aren’t cheap. This was a case of what you can keep and what you can’t.

“The JP thing, I drove away from it thinking how can we make this season count, and that’s the story of it and of the people involved, they all put a shift in. It was part of the success story of the time.

“Tony Smith was Head Coach but Brian McDermott was doing all the meeting in secret and I remember seeing him and saying ‘you don’t have to meet in secret anymore, I know he has signed for Leeds.’

“I thought it was the turning point for Leeds in terms of winning regularly.”

They did win regularly with Peacock going on to lift a further six titles which makes Jamie Peacock Super League’s most successful player.

He also became the third player, after Leon Pryce and Paul Anderson, to win the treble twice.

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