O’Loughlin disappointed after McNamara ditched

England's Sean O'Loughlin (left) and coach Steve McNamara pose with the Baskerville Shield
England's Sean O'Loughlin (left) and coach Steve McNamara pose with the Baskerville Shield

SEAN O’Loughlin believes Australian mentor Wayne Bennett has all the credentials to take England to the next level.

But the Wigan and Test skipper admits he is disappointed Steve McNamara has been ditched as national boss.

At the minute I’m disappointed Steve’s not been given another chance

Sean O’Loughlin

The RFL confirmed yesterday McNamara’s contract was not being renewed despite guiding the nation to a 2-1 series triumph against New Zealand last November.

Shortly afterwards, Bennett’s appointment on a two-year deal was confirmed.

O’Loughlin said: “I’m disappointed for Ste, I thought he did a great job and he made massive strides for us as a country. Wayne is well thought of as a coach and credentials-wise, he’s one of the best in the game.

“(But) I think it would be disrespectful to Steve if I started taking about the new coach.

“At the minute I’m disappointed Steve’s not been given another chance.”

The loose-forward says Bennett will take over a national team in good health.

“We’ve been close for a few years and we got over the line last year and got our hands on silverware,” said O’Loughlin.

“It felt like a successful year.

“I feel it’s the closest we’ve been to Australia and New Zealand in my time, Steve’s left it in a very good position.”

O’Loughlin, captain since 2014, said he wasn’t consulted by the RFL about the coaching change.

“I don’t know the process they go through, all I can say is everyone in the camp felt last year was a good year for us,” he added.

The 33-year-old won’t have to wait long to meet with the new England coach – Bennett’s Brisbane side face Wigan in the World Club Series on February 20.

Five of the current Wigan players were involved in England’s series win in November.