Harlequins have secured the services of former England and Great Britain rugby league scrum-half Sean Long as an assistant coach ahead of the 2019/20 season.
The 42-year-old enjoyed two World Club Challenges, four Grand Finals and five Challenge Cups during his domestic career and announced retirement in August 2011. Long also has the experience of working as an assistant coach in Samoa's 2013 and 2017 Rugby League World Cup campaigns.
He will now head to the Stoop from Super League club St Helens where he joined as an assistant coach in 2014.
“I’m really excited to be joining Harlequins. It’s time for me to pursue a new challenge and Quins is a top Club with a group of talented players and hard-working staff; I can’t wait to join up with them," said Long to the official website of Harlequins.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Harlequins director of rugby Paul Gustard welcomed Long's addition to the club and is confident that his experience in Super League will be handy in the Premiership.
“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 now and I am delighted that Sean has decided to join Quins ahead of other Premiership options as he takes his first foray into coaching union.
“From an early age, rugby league players have core skill acquisition engrained in their developmental pathway. The skill fundamentals of catch pass, tackling and running lines take precedence over what shape your team plays and they are the key and critical transferable skills which are required in union.
“As a player, Sean was a stand-out amongst his peers and perhaps his greatest strength, despite all his talent, is his competitive desire.
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."