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Gustard explains recruitment of Long

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Gustard outlines reasons for recruiting league legend Sean Long as assistant coach at Harlequins

Harlequins have announced the signing of Sean Long as assistant coach from next season. Long joins the Londoners from St Helens where he is assistant coach to the rugby league side that are currently top of the Super League and in the Challenge Cup semi-final.

A former league scrum-half who played for both England and Britain, Long also won a host of domestic titles across his career including two World Club Challenges, four Grand Finals and five Challenge Cups. 

He was a Lance Todd winner three times and awarded the Man of Steel Trophy in 2000 as a result of being the best player in the Super League that season.

Commenting on Long’s Harlequins appointment, boss Paul Gustard said: “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’m 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 among 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.

“We welcome Sean to Harlequins and look forward to the contribution he will make as we look to build on last season’s improvements.”

Long added: “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.

“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 leaves St Helens with immediate effect, will join up with Harlequins on July 8 when the squad returns for pre-season training.

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Gustard outlines reasons for recruiting league legend Sean Long as assistant coach at Harlequins