Featherstone appoint Sean Long to guide Rovers to Super League

George Riley
Sean Long Featherstone Rovers PA

Featherstone have appointed Sean Long as their new head coach, succeeding Brian McDermott who resigned after their play-off defeat by Batley.

It will be the first time as a head coach for the Great Britain and St Helens legend, who left his role as Leeds assistant coach at the end of the season.

An assistant at Leeds, St Helens, Salford, and Harlequins rugby union, as well as Samoa and France, Long also had a previous spell coaching Rovers in 2013.

The 46-year old agrees a one-year contract after talks with chairman Mark Campbell.

“It’s my job to get us into Super League,” says Long.

“To win every game, I don’t like losing. There will be some bumps in the road but we will get through and will learn from every game. 

“I’m glad to be back, I want the fans behind the team, to play a good brand of rugby and get us all back together as one for next season.

“I never want to finish second in my life. I want to win trophies and get into Super League so will be working my hardest with the players and the staff to do that. If I can improve each player 10% then we will be on our way.”

Sean Long: I’m ready to step up as a head coach

Rovers moved for Long following positive talks between the 2000 Man of Steel and club chairman Mark Campbell, with Danny Ward also understood to have been in the running. 

Long, a three-time Lance Todd trophy winner, has promised Featherstone fans an attacking brand of rugby league, but admits he does hold a few nerves ahead of his first year in the hot seat.

“Being a head coach now is a big deal,” Long explained.

“I do get a bit nervous thinking about it, and asking if I’m ready for it. But I’ve been an assistant coach since 2011 which is a long time and I’ve felt in the last couple of years that I was ready for a step up. This feels perfect and I’m really blessed if I’m honest.

“I don’t know what kind of coach I am going to be, that is the unknown to me. I’m pretty laid back as long as people are doing there job. You want to get the best out of players and get them on board. 

“I’ve learned a lot from Richard Agar, Justin Holbrook and Trent Robinson. There are some clever blokes out there. I’m always learning and I always want to learn.”

Long will join up with Featherstone after the World Cup where he is assistant coach with France.

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