League threatens to charge Long over betting allegation

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Sean Long has been warned that he faces action from the Rugby League over betting allegations in his newly-published autobiography.

The former Great Britain scrum-half, who faces Leeds in the Super League Grand Final on Saturday, was suspended along with his then St Helens team-mate, Martin Gleeson, for backing Saints to lose at Bradford in 2004. In his book Longy, however, Long claims that other players at Saints, Bradford and other clubs were in on the scam by putting bets on the Bulls. Now he could be called upon to justify those claims, according to the RFL's spokesman, Craig Spence.

"If someone makes allegations that betting is rife, he has to give us those names," he said. "If not, he could face misconduct charges from the RFL."

Nothing will happen before the Grand Final, after which Long will become a Hull player. His last week with Saints, however, has seen his past emerge as a possible distraction.

Two of Long's St Helens team-mates, Francis Meli and Tony Puletua, have been called up by Samoa for the Pacific Cup match against the Cook Islands a week on Saturday. Also in the squad are Wigan's Harrison Hansen, Kylie Leuluai of Leeds and his uncle, the Salford prop, Phil Leuluai.

Leeds' Keith Senior and Lee Smith would be willing to play for England in this autumn's Four Nations. Senior has retired from Test rugby, while Smith is on his way to rugby union with Wasps. England added Sam Tomkins and Sean O'Loughlin to their squad yesterday, but not their Wigan team-mate and incumbentTest centre, Martin Gleeson.

Wigan have called a press conference for this morning to unveil Michael McGuire as their new coach, in succession to Brian Noble, who has not been offered a new contract. The Australian is leaving his job as assistant coach at the Melbourne Storm to try to turn Wigan into a trophy-winning side once more.

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