More clubs should take games on the road, says Wigan ace Sean O’Loughlin

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Wigan captain Sean O’Loughlin believes clubs should look at taking more games to cities in a bid to expand their brand and the game.

The Warriors, who are the current Super League champions, face Challenge Cup holders Catalans at the Nou Camp on Saturday.

Wigan have taken games to the likes of Wollongong, London and Sydney in recent years – and O’Loughlin believes more English clubs should consider taking games out of their towns and into cities.

Speaking to the press in Barcelona, O’Loughlin said: “I think there are towns where it has not worked out well and towns that it has.

“But I think if you don’t try things then you are not going to get opportunities off the back of them. We pride ourselves on being a club that likes to take games on the road.

“On this occasion at the Nou Camp, it was more Catalans for choosing us but I suppose that’s because they know we travel well when coming over to this region.

“It’s alright looking after your club and your own backyard but you’ve got to try and do things to expand the club. Rads [Kris Radlinski] and Ian [Lenagan] like the club to be at the forefront of expanding the brand. Some games don’t always work out well but if you keep doing it, you are putting the club brand about and growing.”

Super League’s attendance record is set to be broken when the Warriors face the Dragons at Nou Camp on Saturday, with a crowd of approximately 30,000 expected to attend.

The previous record was set at the DW Stadium back in 2005 when Wigan faced local rivals St Helens in the traditional Good Friday derby in front of 25,004 people.

On Saturday’s historic clash, O’Loughlin said: “I know it’s not going to feel like the stadium is full but if there are 30,000 spectators then that’s a massive tick in the box, no matter where the game is at.

“There will probably be 5,000 Wigan people here and the rest will be Catalans supporters and people from this area, so anything that gets the game more viewers and more eyes on the sport is a big thing.

“I think it is big for Super League in England and a strong identity in European cities and there’s a lot of emerging nations coming through as well as France, who have been around for a long time now.

“The more people that get their eyes on the game, the better. I think it puts Super League in a stronger position by becoming a European competition.”

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