O’Loughlin gets one-match ban

Sean O'Loughlin was sent off for the first time in his career
Sean O'Loughlin was sent off for the first time in his career

Wigan captain Sean O’Loughlin has been given a one-match ban for the reckless high tackle that brought him the first dismissal of his career.

The England loose forward was shown a red card in the 38th minute of last Friday’s 22-18 win over Wakefield at the DW Stadium for a tackle that felled Wildcats forward Chris Annakin.

He was charged by the Rugby Football League’s match-review panel with a grade C offence which normally carries a suspension of two to three matches.

O’Loughlin had the option of submitting an early-guilty plea, which would have meant a two-game ban, but he chose to make a personal appearance, alongside Wigan assistant coach John Winder, in front of an RFL disciplinary tribunal, which on Tuesday evening imposed a one-match ban and a £300 fine.

The tribunal took into consideration O’Loughlin’s guilty plea, his previous unblemished record throughout his 15-year professional career and the fact that the dismissal occurred in the first half of the match.

O’Loughlin will miss Friday’s Grand Final re-match against Leeds at Headingley but will be free for Wigan’s derby with St Helens, the last match of the regular season, and the Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull at Doncaster on Friday, July 29.

At least seven frontline players are already missing, and Wane’s woes may deepen before Friday’s game.

England internationals Tony Clubb, Liam Farrell, Joel Tomkins, Micky McIlorum and John Bateman (suspension) are definitely out.

Prop Dom Crosby and centre Anthony Gelling are also set to miss out, centre Dan Sarginson is still a major doubt, having withdrawn from last week’s side, and two players from Friday’s win are carrying injuries.

Winger Josh Charnley (shoulder) and full-back Sam Tomkins (ankle) will be given until Friday to prove their fitness.

On the plus side, Lee Mossop is available again after serving a one-match ban and Frank-Paul Nuuausala is in the frame for his debut.

That means the two who debuted against Wakefield - Macauley Davies and Kyle Shelford - may hang onto their spots. Wane also has teenage centre Jack Higginson, who has featured twice this year, waiting in the wings if he passes a compulsory head test for a concussion injury.

Davies and Shelford did “okay... only okay” last week and Wane has told them he expects more from them if they retain their places.

Robert Hicks will take charge of Friday’s game, which is live on Sky Sports.