Featherstone Rovers today announced that former Great Britain star Sean Long has joined the club as football manager until the end of the season.
Long recently left his job as a coach at Wigan Warriors. He had joined them in April after resigning as assistant coach at Salford City Reds.
The 36-year-old former St Helens, Hull, Widnes and Wigan player, who watched Featherstone’s 12-10 defeat against Swinton last Sunday, said: “I’m delighted to join Featherstone Rovers and work with the squad from today.
“Featherstone Rovers have been the best side outside Super League for three to four years now and we expect them to push on into the Super League.
“Under the guidance and resources of the board of directors, I can see the club progressing and competing with the leading Super League clubs and I’m proud to be part of that initial impetus.
“I’ve joined the club at the business side of the season and I will work with the squad and officials to ensure we maximise our chances of silverware this year.
“I believe our play can be more effective and I will bring my wealth of experience and knowledge from St Helens, Wigan, Hull FC and Great Britain to Featherstone Rovers. The club has masses of potential and I’m excited to get going.”
Featherstone’s major shareholder Feisal Nahaboo said: “We got our man. I spent time with Sean and his agent and was totally impressed with the pair.
“Sean is coming to the club to support us in the most important period of the season. He is experienced, a tactician, an inspiration and he is bringing the effectiveness of Super League rugby to Featherstone Rovers. Sean is keen to prove himself in coaching now. He was on the of the modern day greats in Rugby League and we are proud he has opted to join Featherstone Rovers.
“I expect him to come in - instantly inspire - give us ‘new dimensions’ to our game. I now expect a better kicking game and we need to finish off our plays. Each match is now a final and I expect us to mean business in the business side of the season. I expect Sean and the coaching staff to get the best from the squad. Last Sunday was hopefully a one-off and one that won’t be repeated.”
Rovers chairman Mark Campbell said: “Like many, I always admired Sean highly as a player and his record speaks for itself. I am sure Sean will relish the opportunity of working at Featherstone Rovers with a talented squad for the remainder of the season. We have an important run in to the end of the season now, one which we have I hope will culminate in a successful play off campaign. All at the club look forward to working with Sean and I am sure he will grasp this opportunity.”
The club’s chief executive Craig Poskitt said: “We have moved quickly to secure the services of Sean for the remainder of the season. He has a wealth of experience and he is a character who we feel will help the club at the business end of the season. We have an important period approaching where we want to finish 2013 strongly and set us up for an exciting 2014 campaign.”