Fresh O’Loughlin ready to go one step further with Wigan

Wigan forward Sean O’Loughlin feels that he has benefitted from the extra time off he enjoyed in the wake of England‘s series win over New Zealand in the autumn.

Like other international members of Shaun Wane’s Warriors squad, O’Loughlin came back to pre-season slightly later than the rest of the group.

“It’s probaby the longest break I’ve had for a good few years,” he told Love Rugby League.

“A lot of the time we’ve had camps just before Christmas, that didn’t happen this year so we’ve had a week or two extra off.

“You still do a bit to keep you ticking over, but that break is good just to get away from the place and freshen up mentally, as much as anything.”

It is still a typical Wigan pre-season for O’Loughlin, however, with the coaching staff and squad looking to go one step further this year, and win the Grand Final.

“The past few years we’ve come up a just a little bit short in a few finals,” he said.

“The coaching staff put their heads together and look at ways we can improve it.

“When we get back together as a group, then we address those things, which are often small details.

“We’re not changing too much. It’s about focusing in and getting that extra one or two per cent out of our game.

“Hopefully that will be enough to get us across the line this year.”

O’Loughlin believes that all the players in the squad, especially the younger players, will have benefitted from greater exposure to play-off rugby in recent seasons.

“To play in finals and big games in the play-offs, I do think the experience you get from that massively helps you,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot of young boys come through in the past couple of years.

“They’ve come through on form and merit, and they’re playing well.

“Add that to the experience they’ve picked up over the last few years, and they’ll be better players for it.

“As will most of the senior players too. The more games you play at that level, the better you feel when you’re in that position again.”

Meanwhile, the Wigan number 13 is also delighted to be linking up once again with Sam Tomkins, who has returned to the club after two years in the NRL with the New Zealand Warriors.

“As a player he had a great stint over in the NRL,” he said.

“He’s a great player to play alongside. He’s exciting, and he works hard on his game, and that transfers to the rest of the team too.

“He gets the best out of the players around him, so to have him back is brilliant.”

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