SAINTS are expected to fill the Sean Long assistant coach vacancy shortly, with ex-Halifax boss Richard Marshall strongly tipped to be crossing the Pennines.

Long left this week to take up a position with Harlequins Rugby Union outfit, but Saints are close to announcing a successor.

And Holbrook expects that person to slot in seamlessly into this campaign without any disruption.

Holbrook said: “We will get it filled and announced in the next couple of days.

“We would have loved Longy to have stayed but we can understand that he has been here for five years as an assistant and needs a new challenge.

“It had been simmering ever since I first got here because even back then he was talking to rugby union clubs.

“He opted to stay then for two more years but had some options even back then.

“The fact that the two codes don’t run parallel makes it hard, and pre-season at Harlequins starts next month. It will be a good challenge for him."

Marshall, 43, is a good young coach who guided Halifax to the Qualifiers three times out of four years. He parted company with Halifax at the end of April and is so is available.

A former player with Halifax, Huddersfield, London, Leigh and Swinton, Marshall. Prior to taking up the head coaches role at the Shay, Marshall worked as one of Tony Smith's assistants at Warrington.

Holbrook expects the new assistant, when he is named, to slot in seamlessly with the way they work.

He said: "The thing with us here is that no one person is going to affect us.

“That is the beauty of where we are at as a club. Someone new will come in with fresh ideas, but we won't have to change anything.

"It is not like we are having to invent stuff because what we are doing is working.

"We will get someone who slots in nicely and we won't have to change too much."