Sean Long: St Helens legend moves to Premiership side Harlequins as assistant coach

Sean Long
Sean Long returned to St Helens as a coach in 2014

Former England and Great Britain rugby league scrum-half Sean Long has moved to rugby union by leaving St Helens to join Harlequins as assistant coach.

The 42-year-old has left a similar role with the Super League leaders St Helens to help coach Quins' attack.

Wigan-born Long won every major club honour in his rugby league career, spent mostly with Saints.

"I'm delighted Sean has decided to join us ahead of other Premiership options," said Quins head of rugby Paul Gustard.

"I have been looking at adding a coach to assist with some of the finer detail around running lines and creating numerical advantages for some time.

"We can see with the performance of St Helens this year the impact he is now having as a coach with their attack as they compete at the top of Super League and enter into the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup after a 40-point thrashing over Wakefield."

Sean Long
Sean Long scored more than 160 tries in a 17-year career with Wigan, Widnes, St Helens and Hull FC

Long, who started with home town club Wigan, including a loan spell at Widnes, won five Challenge Cups, four Super League Grand finals and two World Club titles during his 12-year playing career with Saints.

He finished his playing days at Hull, having also played six times for England and 15 times for Great Britain, before then briefly swapping codes for the first time when he signed for National League Two North union side Preston Grasshoppers.

He joins a Harlequins side who missed out on the Premiership play-offs by the narrowest of margins last month after James Lang's last-second penalty miss saw them lose at Wasps and fail to overtake Northampton for fourth place.

'A new challenge' - Long

"It's time for me to pursue a new challenge," said Long. "Quins are a top club with a group of talented players and hard-working staff. I can't wait to join up with them.

"I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone in rugby league for the time I have had there, but now I'm focused on Harlequins and am looking forward to getting started on the preparations for next season."

Long, who will join up with Harlequins on 8 July when pre-season starts, began his coaching career with Hull FC after leaving Saints in 2009.

He then coached at Wigan, Salford and the Samoa national team before returning to St Helens as an assistant coach in 2014.

"He is a legend of this club and everyone loves him," St Helens head coach Justin Holbrook told the Saints website.

"We are naturally disappointed to be losing such an influential figure, but I wish him all the best for his next adventure."