Long has sympathy for Eastmond

Saints Player Kyle Eastmond against Hull Captain Sean Long
Saints Player Kyle Eastmond against Hull Captain Sean Long
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SEAN Long has urged fans to lay off union-bound Kyle Eastmond.

Long, himself a target of a number of poaching raids by cash-laden union sides, says too much pressure has been placed on Eastmond’s young shoulders.

“I don’t think we should put the young players under so much pressure,” said Long. “There seems to be a tendency in the media to want to shoot them down.

“Look at the treatment Kyle has got. One minute he’s the next Ellery Hanley, then he has a couple of bad games and everyone is shooting him down.

“We should just let the young lads play, and if they have a good game give them a pat on the back but don’t build them up too much too soon and put unnecessary pressure on them.”

Long also admitted he’d been approached about a move to the 15-a-side code.

“I did speak to him (England’s then coach Clive Woodward) at the time other guys like Henry Paul and Jason Robinson were switching codes, as he expressed an interest in signing me but I was never really interested.

“I was contracted to St Helens, I’d just signed a new deal at the club and I was happy there.”

Meanwhile, it seems increasingly unlikely Long will return to the fold after weeks of speculation about him re-signing for St Helens.

The 34-year-old, who still has a home in Billinge, said last week he remained committed to Hull, while the positive outcome of the investigation into Easmond’s misdemeanours means Saints have plenty of options in the half-back positions.