Farrell feels the pressure

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LIAM Farrell reckons tough training and a frank conversation 4,000 miles away will lay the foundation for a successful 2013.

The back-rower has hailed the success of their pre-season camp in Florida earlier this month.

As well as gruelling sessions, they also spoke candidly about last season’s shortfalls, as Wigan’s Challenge Cup and Grand Final charges fell short despite a successful Super League campaign which saw them top the ladder after 27-rounds.

Farrell said: “We spoke about our big-game finishes. We fell short to Leeds in two semi-finals and we know we have to deal with the pressure of those big-games.

“We were consistent, because we finished top of the league, but we’ve spoke about needing to deal with the pressure of the bigger games.”

Wigan’s 10-day Florida trip included a punishing session in a Mixed Martial Arts gym.

“The MMA blokes were tough fellas,” he added. “There was a guy who’d just had a UFC fight and so there were some top-end guys, real athletes.

“But they appreciated what we did – they couldn’t believe we didn’t wear pads playing rugby league!”

Farrell has certainly not grown tired of the USA – he is heading to New York for New Year’s Eve.

WIGAN will open the new Under-19s campaign at Sheffield on Saturday, February 2 (kick-off 2.30pm at Mount St Mary’s).

The new competition – a change from last season’s U20s – will run alongside Super League fixtures.

Cash-strapped Salford and French outfit Catalan will not be competing but the other top-flight clubs will participate, and be joined by Featherstone and Sheffield.

The U19s will have no provision for over-age players, with Warriors relying on dual-registration agreements with South Wales and Leigh to field players ineligible because of their age.