Featherstone Rovers confirm shock decision to part company with head coach Sean Long
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Long’s departure follows a 25-22 defeat to Halifax Panthers, which was Rovers’ first away defeat of the season and only their second all year in the league.
They have lost twice to sixth-placed Halifax, however, having been knocked out of the Challenge Cup by them, and worries were beginning to surface that the club could fall short again in their bid to reach Super League.
Director of rugby James Ford has been handed the head coach role on an interim basis and will take the reins until the end of the season.
A statement issued by the club said: “We can confirm that we have today reached agreement with Head Coach Sean Long to part company with immediate effect.
“The club has invested significantly this year to ensure that we give ourselves the best possible chance of promotion to Super League in 2023.
"The changes in rules that come into effect from 2024 make it extremely difficult to reach this goal in future years so we are committed to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in delivering this objective.
"The board have backed this ambition by investing in a playing squad of Super League quality and have been disappointed therefore in this season’s team performance against some of our promotion rivals.
"As we reach the countdown to the play-off series, we need to ensure that we maximise the huge potential and high quality of our playing roster and we feel this change will enable us to make the required step up which is required.
"We would like to place on record our thanks to Sean Long for his contribution to the club’s efforts this season and wish him well in the future.
"We would ask our fans to continue to support the club in their usual way just as they did in such large numbers at Halifax, we certainly will need their support in hopefully helping us to get over the line this year.
"We have asked director of rugby James Ford to take up the head coaching role on an interim basis for the remainder of the year along with Ian Hardman, the club will make a further assessment of whether we need to invest further in our coaching team.”