Sean Long tipped for Saints return

Sean long is tipped to return to Saints
Sean long is tipped to return to Saints

Sean Long could be on the brink of returning to the club where he enjoyed unprecedented success as a player.

The club is refusing to comment on speculation that the flamboyant former scrum-half is set to take on a coaching role at Langtree Park, but it is believed that newly-appointed boss Keiron Cunningham is keen to have his old team-mate on board.

If he returns, Long will also work alongside another familiar face in Ade Gardner who last week accepted a post at the club as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Speculation escalated over the weekend that the 38-year-old former-Great Britain 
international was heading back to his former club when it was revealed on Twitter that he had left his coaching role with Salford.

Red Devils owner, Dr Marwan Koukash, took to social media to break the news, tweeting: “We have reluctantly agreed to Sean Long’s request to leave the club with immediate effect. I personally feel very disappointed.”

Rainford-based Dr Koukash later followed that tweet with a second which said: “He knows why he is leaving and I wish him all the best. We won’t take him back again.”

Long, who has also been working as an assistant to Matt Parish during Samoa’s Four Nations campaign in Australia, was not available for comment but his management, TMSports, said it was time he moved on to “explore new opportunities”.

During his Saints career, Long won every major team honour in the game at club level.

He helped the club to four titles between 1999 and 2006 and five Challenge Cup triumphs between 2001 and 2008, as well as winning an unequalled three Lance Todd Trophy man of the match awards.

He was also named Super League’s Man of Steel in 2000.

Twice Long set Super League records for the most points scored in a season - 284 in 1999 and a staggering 352 the following year.

He was also capped 15 times for Great Britain and five for England.

* Saints returned to full training on Monday in preparation for the defence of their Super League title.

Most of the senior squad were present, apart from Mose Masoe who has been involved in the Four Nations and skipper Paul Wellens - part of the England coaching team Down Under.