Watson’s Rugby League ambitions

Let’s reflect on a tale of two Lancastrian coaches, Ian Watson and Sean Long.

I’m glad Adam Pearson took my advice and tried to get Watto from Salford to Hull, because he’d have been a great appointment for the Black and Whites.

Watto decided it wasn’t the right move for him, and that certainly won’t have gone unnoticed by the likes of Wigan, as they ponder over another contract for Adrian Lam, St Helens and Warrington.

Saints and Wire already have accomplished operators at the helm, and I’m not saying either club is in the market for a new coach. But situations change down the line and it pays to be prepared.

I was also interested to hear Watto say he had ambitions of coaching in the NRL. I’m sure he has the attributes required to do that at some stage and I’m also sure his will be a familiar name to clubs Down Under.

Longy to Leeds as assistant to Richard Agar is an interesting one.

James Webster will be concentrating on getting Featherstone Rovers into a position where they can mount a challenge for a Super League spot, so Rich needs a new right-hand man.

It feels like it’s going against director of rugby Kevin Sinfield’s normal approach, because that’s been to appoint from within, and Jamie Jones-Buchanan is already there, although it may be a little bit to soon for a man who knows the club inside-out and has a real affinity for the fans.

There’s been a pattern of folk from across the Pennines, whether players or coaches, struggling to be successful at Headingley, going back to such as Eric Ashton, Eddie Cunningham and Doug Laughton.

Of course, it’s a different era and Longy is a different person. He has plenty to offer and it’s great to see him back in Rugby League.

To be honest, I’m surprised he stuck it in rugby union for so long.

I had a couple of years coaching at Redcar, and while I enjoyed the challenge and I liked the club and the lads, union just isn’t the same, and to those of us steeped in the 13-a-side code, I can’t see how the 15-a-side version, with all its technicalities, can be anything other than frustrating.

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