Sean Long is one of the icons of Super League.
He enjoyed a glittering playing career being a star at both Wembley and Old Trafford. He’s the only man to score a decisive drop goal in a Grand Final as he did in 2002 and won four Grand Finals in total including as part of the treble winning Saints of 2006.
Since retirement in 2011 after a period with Hull FC, Long has taken to coaching with Salford, Wigan and Saints. He had a spell in rugby union before taking on the assistant coach job at Leeds Rhinos helping the club return to the Grand Final in 2022.
That was his last competitive game with the club, with Long now headed for pastures new in 2023 replacing another former Rhino – Brian McDermott – as Head Coach at Featherstone.
It’s Long’s first Head Coach role and will see Long strive to do what no coach has done before and take the Rovers to Super League.
He’s certainly excited by the opportunity telling the club website: “It feels really good, I’m really honoured, I had a spell with the club in 2013, I really enjoyed my time there then, the players and staff are great and I’ve kept in touch with a lot of them. I can’t wait to get involved and to get back.”
Long’s appointment comes after McDermott’s resignation after failing to get the Rovers promoted succumbing to a shock play-off exit at the hands of Batley in the semi-finals.
Super League is still the ambition for Featherstone which makes the next season all the more important with IMG’s changes on the horizon.
This made the appointment vitally important, so why was Long trusted ahead of alternatives such as Danny Ward.
Well according to Chairman Mark Campbell, Long will play a style that suits the Featherstone DNA whilst believing his Super League experience and experience alongside some top coaches will lead the Rovers to the top flight.
Campbell said on the club website: “Sean brings a wealth of experience from a glittering playing career and more than ten years of experience as an assistant working with some of the best coaches in the game, his name is synonymous with Super League where we hope Sean can take us in 2023 with a style of play that is synonymous with the club’s DNA.”