Sean Long bigraphy, stories - British rugby league player

Sean Long : biography

24 September 1976 -

Sean Long (born 24 September 1976 in Wigan) is an English former professional rugby league and current rugby union footballer with Preston Grasshoppers. He has played for Wigan, Widnes and Hull but is best known for playing for St Helens in the Super League. Internationally he has represented England and Great Britain at . Although primarily a he has also played many games at .

Early life

Between the ages of eleven and thirteen Long attended St Joseph's Catholic Comprehensive School in Horwich but moved to the Deanery High School on Frog Lane in Wigan because the former only played soccer not rugby. See Long's Autobiography, Longy page 35.

Playing career

1990s

After signing from local amateur side, Wigan St. Jude's, Long started his career at Wigan. After Wigan released him from his contract, Long moved to Widnes, where he attracted the attention of several of the Super League's top clubs. He was signed by St Helens in 1997 to replace the departing Bobbie Goulding.

In the 1997 post season, Long was selected to play for Great Britain from the interchange bench in two matches of the Super League Test series against Australia.

Long twice set the St. Helens record for the number of points scored in a Super League season, gaining 284 points in 1999 and 352 points in 2000.http://www.superleague.co.uk/records.php

2000s

In the 2002 Tetley's Super League Grand Final, Long kicked a last-gasp drop goal which gave St. Helens the Championship.

Long has gained many club honours and has won three Lance Todd Trophies for man-of-the-match performances in the Challenge Cup final after St. Helens won the trophy in the 2001, 2004 and 2006 finals. By 2005, Long had scored 2,000 points for St Helens. During the 2005 season, he sustained a broken cheek bone in a challenge by Wigan's Terry Newton.

Long kicked his 1,000th goal for St. Helens on 22 February 2009 in a game against Huddersfield.

During 2006, St Helens won both the Challenge Cup and Super League. Following the season, Long was selected for Great Britain in the Tri nations. Long played in the first game between Great Britain and Australia, which resulted in Great Britain's first victory in Sydney in 18 years, with a score of 23-12. However, on 13 November 2006, Long returned home from the Tri-Nations tour, with 'personal reasons' cited as the reason by Great Britain coach Brian Noble.

St. Helens in 2007 took all honours apart from the Super League title when they were beaten by Leeds at Old Trafford in the Grand Final. In 2007 Long played his testimonial match for St. Helens playing against Leigh. Former St. Helens players returned for the game, including Chris Joynt, Tommy Martyn and Paul Newlove. St. Helens won the game 40-10.http://www.leighrl.co.uk/main/match%20reports/270107.php

Long officially retired from International football on 16 April 2007, wishing to concentrate on his club career. He has stated that it is a "big possibility" that he will play football in the NRL in the future. Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks and Kangaroos coach Ricky Stuart expressed some interest in employing in the Shire in 2008 but the arrangement was cancelled.

He played in 2008's Super League XIII Grand Final defeat to Leeds.

On 1 June 2009 it was announced that Sean had signed a two year contract with Hull for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Also in 2009 an Autobiography, Longy: Booze, Brawls, Sex and Scandal was published.

2010s

Sean Long announced his retirement from playing rugby league on the morning of 10 August 2011. He now has a assistant coaching job with the Salford. On 1 November it was announced he had signed a playing contract with Rugby Union side Preston Grasshoppers in SSE National League 2 North.

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