Former Great Britain scrum-half Sean Long has quit his job as Salford City Reds assistant coach.
The 36-year-old former St Helens favourite, who has been on the City Reds coaching staff since retiring as a player in the autumn of 2011, handed in his notice yesterday and today said his farewell to the players.
Salford chief executive Ed Farish said: "We wanted to keep him. He's worked very hard here and he's got good football knowledge.
"But people make their own decisions. I think he's looking for new challenges."
Long's move comes just three days after the formal appointment of Brian Noble as the City Reds' new head coach and, although he has been linked with a move to either Wigan Warriors or St Helens, the timing is something of a surprise.
He had been offered the chance to stay on at the Salford City Stadium as assistant to Noble and, along with caretaker coach Alan Hunte, was preparing the team for Sunday's Tetley's Challenge Cup fourth-round tie against the University of Gloucestershire All Golds in Cheltenham.
"I am sorry to say I have handed in my notice at Salford City Reds," Long said on his Twitter account. "I am taking my time to weigh up my options."
Long is thought to have been offered the chance to return to his hometown club Wigan to coach their Under-19s, a post currently occupied by the Warriors' head of youth John Winder.
He played for Wigan St Jude's before signing for Wigan in 1994 but only made 12 appearances before joining Widnes Vikings, who were then coached by his father Bernard, in 1996.
He was quickly snapped up by St Helens coach Shaun McRae and embarked on a glorious career at Knowsley Road that brought him three Lance Todd Trophies as man of the match in the Challenge Cup final and the 2000 Man of Steel award.
His trophy-laden career at Saints was brought to an abrupt end in 2009 when he joined Hull FC on a two-year contract after being offered only a 12-month deal to stay at Knowsley Road.
However, he endured an injury-hit time at the KC Stadium and announced his retirement in August 2011.
Long joined Salford shortly afterwards as assistant to Matt Parrish and stayed in that post when Phil Veivers took over in November 2011.
Despite his turbulent off-field behaviour, well documented in his autobiography 'Longy: Booze, Brawls, Sex and Scandal', he has made a big impression on his fledgling coaching career.
He was promised a role at Salford by Noble, who had forgiven the player for walking out on Great Britain during his last year as national coach at a crucial time in the 2006 Tri-Nations Series in Australia.