Hoff expecting to be hassled by O’Loughlin

Sean O'Loughlin
Sean O'Loughlin
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RYAN Hoffman is expecting to line-up against Sean O’Loughlin on Sunday, despite doubts over the England skipper’s fitness.

O’Loughlin was left out of England coach Steve McNamara’s initial squad, but he is being given until the 11th hour to prove his fitness to take on the Kangaroos.

And Hoffman expects to be facing his former team mate, who he played with at Wigan during the 2011 season, and he paid him the highest of compliments.

He added: “He’s inspiring by his actions.

“He’ll do it all. He doesn’t see anything as not his job and he leads by example.

“He’s not the ‘big talk, follow me’ sort of guy. He goes out there and does his job every week. It’s kind of, ‘This is the way to play rugby league, guys. Follow me.’”

England coach Steve McNamara is set to wait until the last possible moment to see if O’Loughlin will be 
fit.

Hoffman also admits he is looking forward to building a Wigan connection on the other side of the world.

And even after the NRL titles, State of Origin games and Test appearances, coming to the Warriors remains one of his best decisions.

The former back-rower, who spent a year in the cherry and white, will face a few familiar faces when England face Australia on Sunday.

Now he is ready to be the team-mate of Sam Tomkins, as well as Thomas Leuluai, when he heads to New Zealand Warriors for the 2015 season.

And he admits he has never lost touch with his pals at the DW Stadium.

Hoffman said: “I keep in touch with a few of the Wigan boys. It was a very special time of my career and a year that I’ve cherished as one of the best things I’ve done in rugby league.

“I’m looking forward to linking up with Sam and Tommy next year and keep that Wigan connection going.

“But I see Sam’s had another tattoo on his leg. I’d better not spend too much time with him next year or else I might end up with one!”