Long has 'no regrets' over walk-out and will not tour again

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Sean Long has ruled out touring with Great Britain again but said last night he would like to sign a new contract with St Helens.

Britain's Tri-Nations hopes suffered a blow on Monday when a weary Long, 30, flew home and he revealed he "just couldn't carry on".

Long was man of the match when Brian Noble's men beat Australia in their second match but was not at his best as Britain lost to New Zealand last week and insists he has "no regrets" about his controversial decision to return home.

Long said last night: "I definitely won't tour again. It's really hard to play that many games on the bounce. I'm not ruling out [playing for GB again]. I want to do my best at St Helens."

Long believes he made the right choice to return home. "I stick by my decision, I'm glad to be home," Long said. "I want Great Britain to win this competition and that's one of the reasons I left."

Long said he was "pretty upset" by initial claims - including allegations of drinking, gambling and falling out with Noble - over why he had left the tour.

"I know I'm a bit thick, but I'm not that thick," added Long, who was banned from the game for three months in 2004 for betting on his own side to lose when injuries forced St Helens to field a weakened team against Bradford. They duly lost 54-8.

"I think it was a bit out of order, that's water under the bridge. I've played a lot of rugby since then and I've served my time for that.

"I had a drink on Sunday but there was no booze ban and we never got into trouble. That got blown out of proportion. I was not arguing with Nobby [Noble], the staff were unbelievable. It was not because of that.

"[There were] a number of things, to be honest. I was missing my family. I was mentally and physically fatigued; it's been a long season at St Helens and I just felt like I was mentally and physically gone.

"It came to a head when I just couldn't carry on. I couldn't get myself up for the next game. I didn't just decide on the spur of the moment - I'd been thinking about it for about 10 days."

Comments