Long Has No Regrets

Long also confirmed he had no regrets about leaving for home in the middle of the tournament, saying that he was exhausted, wanted to be with his preganant wife, and “should have listened to his body before”.

"I'm 30 and maybe it's in my interests to prolong my career if I don't play,” he said. "The people I have spoken to have all understood the kind of season we had."

"It was a hectic schedule and they understood. Some people have been putting bad stuff in the papers but the people I have spoken to have been all right. I'll see how we go this year and see how my body feels."

Long also hopes to get an extension to his Saints contract, which comes to an end after the 2007 season is over, even if this would scupper his chances of a move down under to the NRL Telstra Premiership.

"It's up to Eamonn McManus [the club chairman]," he said. "He will contact me when he wants to discuss it. I just want to play rugby.

"Going to Australia is always a possibility with my contract being up at the end of the year, but I'm enjoying my rugby at the moment so why change something that is not broken."

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