GIANTS chief Jon Sharp's role in the Great Britain set-up has come to an end.
The Rugby Football League have announced they are to appoint a full-time Lions coach.
The successful candidate - with Shaun McRae having emerged as a strong early favourite - will succeed Wigan coach Brian Noble whose three-year deal expired on December 31.
Noble has effectively ruled himself out of the reckoning because he intends to concentrate on his contract with Wigan which runs to the end of 2008.
Sharp and Dave Lyon, the former St Helens full back, acted as Noble's assistants and are also out of contract with the RFL.
"We would like to thank Brian Noble for his valuable contribution to the Great Britain side over the past six years," said RFL executive chairman Richard Lewis.
McRae's main rivals are likely to be Paul Cullen (Warrington) and Karl Harrison (Salford), who have coached England or former Castleford and Wigan coach Stuart Raper.