Sean Long

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Sean Long
Sean Long.jpg
Long playing for St Helens in the 2007 Challenge Cup final
Personal information
Born (1976-09-24) 24 September 1976 (age 40)
Wigan, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 13 st 5 lb (85 kg) [1]
Playing information
Position Stand-off, Scrum-half
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1994–97 Wigan 12 2 2 0 12
1997 Widnes Vikings 9 0 0 0 0
1997–09 St. Helens 265 124 812 20 2140
2010–11 Hull F.C. 22 6 0 0 24
Total 308 132 814 20 2176
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2000 England 6 2 5 0 18
1997–06 Great Britain 15 4 14 1 45
As of 12 October 2009
Source: RLP

Sean Long (born 24 September 1976 in Wigan) is an English retired professional rugby league footballer of the 1990s, and 2000s.[2] An England[3] and Great Britain[4] international Scrum-half, Long is regarded by many as one of the finest British players of his generation. He began his career with Wigan and also played for Widnes and Hull F.C., but is best known for his time playing for St. Helens in the Super League with whom he won a total of four Super League championships and five Challenge Cups, as well as numerous individual accolades including the Man of Steel award and three Lance Todd Trophies.

Following his retirement as a player, Long began a coaching career. He is currently assistant coach of St. Helens and the Samoa national rugby league team.

Early life[edit]

Between the ages of eleven and thirteen Long attended St Joseph's Catholic Comprehensive School in Horwich but moved to the Deanery High School on Frog Lane in Wigan because the former only played football, not rugby.[5]

Playing career[edit]

1990s[edit]

After signing from local amateur side, Wigan St Judes, Long started his career at Wigan. After Wigan released him from his contract, Long moved to Widnes, where he attracted the attention of several of the Super League's top clubs. He was signed by St Helens in 1997[6] to replace the departing Bobbie Goulding.

In the 1997 post season, Long was selected to play for Great Britain from the interchange bench in two matches of the Super League Test series against Australia.

Long played for St. Helens from the interchange bench, kicking two goals in their 1999 Super League Grand Final victory over Bradford Bulls.

2000s[edit]

Long twice set the St. Helens record for the number of points scored in a Super League season, gaining 284 points in 1999 and 352 points in 2000.[7] Having won the 1999 Championship, St. Helens contested in the 2000 World Club Challenge against National Rugby League Premiers the Melbourne Storm, with Long playing at scrum half back and kicking a goal in the loss. Long played for St. Helens at scrum half and kicked four goals in their 2000 Super League Grand Final victory over Wigan Warriors, and was named as Man of Steel in 2000. As Super League V champions, St. Helens played against 2000 NRL Premiers Brisbane Broncos in the 2001 World Club Challenge. Long played at scrum half, scoring a try, three goals and a field goal in Saints' victory.

Long played for St. Helens at scrum half, scoring a try, a goal and the match-winning drop goal in their 2002 Super League Grand Final victory against the Bradford Bulls.[8] Having won Super League VI, St Helens contested the 2003 World Club Challenge against 2002 NRL Premiers Sydney Roosters. Long played at stand-off in Saints' 38-0 loss. In 2004, Long served a three-month ban for his part in the 2004 rugby league betting scandal. Despite this, Long was selected in the Great Britain team to compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Australia he played at scrum half in the Lions' 44-4 loss. By 2005, Long had scored 2,000 points for St Helens. During the 2005 season, he sustained a broken cheek bone in a challenge by Wigan's Terry Newton in an incident that saw Newton receive a 12-match ban, the heaviest for an on-field action in Super League history at the time.[9]

Long scoring a try against Wigan in 2008

Long played for St Helens at scrum half and scored a try in their 2006 Challenge Cup Final victory over Huddersfield Giants and won the Lance Todd Trophy as man-of-the-match in a Challenge Cup final for a record third time. St Helens reached the 2006 Super League Grand final to be contested against Hull F.C. and Long played at scrum half in Saints' 26-4 victory. Following the season, Long was selected for Great Britain in the Tri nations. Long played in the first game between Great Britain and Australia, which resulted in Great Britain's first victory in Sydney in 18 years, with a score of 23-12. However, on 13 November 2006, Long controversially returned home from the Tri-Nations tour, with 'personal reasons' cited as the reason by Great Britain coach Brian Noble.[10] As 2006 Super League champions, St Helens faced 2006 NRL Premiers Brisbane Broncos in the 2007 World Club Challenge. Long captained Saints from scrum half in their 18-14 victory.

St. Helens in 2007 took all honours apart from the Super League title when they were beaten by Leeds at Old Trafford in the Grand Final. In 2007 Long received a testimonial match for St Helens against Leigh. Former St Helens players returned for the game, including Chris Joynt, Tommy Martyn and Paul Newlove. St Helens won the game 40-10.[11]

Long officially retired from international football on 16 April 2007, wishing to concentrate on his club career. He played in 2008's Super League XIII Grand Final defeat to Leeds.[12]

Long playing for Hull FC in 2010

On 1 June 2009 it was announced that Sean had signed a two-year contract with Hull F.C. for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, leaving St Helens after 12 seasons.[13] Also in 2009 an Autobiography, Longy: Booze, Brawls, Sex and Scandal was published.[14] Long kicked his 1,000th goal for St. Helens on 22 February 2009 in a game against Huddersfield.[15]

2010s[edit]

Long announced his retirement from playing rugby league on the morning of 10 August 2011, and began an assistant coaching job with Salford.[16] On 1 November it was announced he had signed a playing contract with Rugby Union side Preston Grasshoppers in SSE National League 2 North.[17]

In 2013, Sean Long was appointed assistant coach of Samoa's 2013 Rugby League World Cup campaign. In 2014 Long reprised his role as Samoa played in the Four Nations.

In November 2014, Long left Salford and took up the assistant coach role at St. Helens following former teammate Keiron Cunningham's appointment as head coach from 2015 onwards.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hull F.C.". web page. Hull F.C. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "St Helens' Sean Long agrees deal to join Hull at the end of the season". The Guardian. London. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "England Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Great Britain Statistics at englandrl.co.uk". englandrl. 31 December 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Longy page 35
  6. ^ "Tri-Nations: Great Britain profiles". Mail Online. London: Associated Newspapers. 19 October 2004. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  7. ^ http://www.superleague.co.uk/records.php
  8. ^ Gordos, Phil (27 April 2003). "League poised for breakthrough". BBC Sport. UK: British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 December 2009. 
  9. ^ unknown (14 September 2005). "Newton got off lightly - Anderson". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  10. ^ unknown (13 November 2006). "We'll stand by Long, insists St Helens coach". London: Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  11. ^ http://www.leighrl.co.uk/main/match%20reports/270107.php
  12. ^ "2008 Grand Final". BBC. 4 October 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2008. 
  13. ^ "Hull FC sign Saints veteran Long". BBC News. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  14. ^ Long, Sean; Appleyard, Nick (2009). Longy: Booze, Brawls, Sex and Scandal. UK: John Blake Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84454-856-9. Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  15. ^ unknown (22 February 2009). "Long's 1,000th goal crowns St Helens success". London: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 26 April 2009. 
  16. ^ Sky Sports http://www1.skysports.com/rugby-league/news/12207/7111580/Salford-recruit-Long-to-staff.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ http://pgrfc.co.uk/preston-grasshoppers-announces-arrival-of-league-legend. Retrieved 1 November 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/nov/17/sean-long-return-st-helens-assistant-coach

External links[edit]