Featherstone Rovers have shocked fans tonight by announcing the immediate departure of former Leeds Rhinos assistant and Hull FC and St Helens star Sean Long.
There have been rumours that Long is set to join Warrington Wolves in 2024 as assistant coach with Sam Burgess set to take charge of the club as Daryl Powell’s replacement.
But according to the club, who have replaced him with former York boss and former Wakefield Trinity assistant James Ford, this isn’t the only reason for his departure.
It seems the club are fearful over their promotion chances despite only three defeats all season and with Super League set for licensing in 2024 under IMG promotion is vital.
The club made the following statement:
We can confirm that we have today reached agreement with Head Coach Sean Long to part company with immediate effect.
The Club has invested significantly this year to ensure that we give ourselves the best possible chance of promotion to Super League in 2023. The changes in rules that come into effect from 2024 make it extremely difficult to reach this goal in future years so we are committed to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in delivering this objective. The Board have backed this ambition by investing in a playing squad of Super League quality and have been disappointed therefore in this season’s team performance against some of our promotion rivals.
As we reach the countdown to the play-off series, we need to ensure that we maximise the huge potential and high quality of our playing roster and we feel this change will enable us to make the required step up which is required
We would like to place on record our thanks to Sean Long for his contribution to the Club’s efforts this season and wish him well in the future. We would ask our fans to continue to support the Club in their usual way just as they did in such large numbers at Halifax yesterday, we certainly will need their support in hopefully helping us to get over the line this year
We have asked Director of Rugby James Ford to take up the Head Coaching role on an interim basis for the remainder of the year along with Ian Hardman, the Club will make a further assessment of whether we need to invest further in our coaching team.