Why ex-Leeds Rhinos assistant Sean Long won’t take over immediately at Featherstone Rovers

This morning Featherstone Rovers confirmed the start of a new era at the club.

Following the resignation of Brian McDermott after he failed to guide the Rovers to Super League suffering a shock defeat to Batley in Championship semi-finals, the Rovers last night hinted that a new coach’s appointment was imminent and it was delivered this morning with the announcement that Sean Long would be taking over as coach with his first ever Head Coach role.

Long has coached at Salford, Wigan and St Helens in the past as well as in rugby union prior to taking on the assistant coach role at Leeds at the end of 2020.

The former St Helens scrum-half received his fair share of criticism at Leeds when things weren’t going so well especially in attack but under Rohan Smith the attack at Headingley was revitalised and took the Rhinos to Old Trafford, and Featherstone fans will be hoping they get to enjoy a scintillating attacking team in 2023 as the Rovers look to secure promotion to Super League for the first time.

However, his impact at the club won’t be felt just yet with Long having other duties to attend to before taking the reins at Featherstone.

This is because of his role as assistant coach to the French national team in the World Cup meaning he has to help guide France as far as he can in the World Cup prior to assuming the role as Featherstone’s new head coach ahead of 2023.

In a statement on the club’s website, the Rovers said: “Long is currently involved with the French national team as an assistant to Laurent Frayssinous and Trent Robinson and will take up the rains formally at the conclusion of France’s involvement in the competition.”

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