O’Loughlin given extra time to prove fitness

Sean O'Loughlin won the 2013 Grand Final (with Pat Richards), having not played since the Challenge Cup Final
Sean O'Loughlin won the 2013 Grand Final (with Pat Richards), having not played since the Challenge Cup Final

Is Wigan skipper Sean O’Loughlin poised for another dramatic comeback?

The Wigan and England loose forward has not played for two months because of injury and was not included in coach Shaun Wane’s original 19-man for Saturday’s Grand Final against Warrington at Old Trafford.

Wane had earlier said he would make a call on whether to include O’Loughlin on Thursday.

But on Friday morning he said the 33-year-old, who tore a calf muscle on the eve of his club’s last match of the regular season a fortnight ago, will be given until just before kick-off to prove his fitness.

“He’s trained this week,” Wane told Sky Sports News. “He’s trained this morning. We’ll have a look at him in the team run today and he’ll do the warm-up before the game.

“If he’s good, we’ll put him in. Lockers is too valuable, too good a player not to give him every chance.”

Warrington will be only too aware that O’Loughlin made a comeback from injury ahead of the 2013 Grand Final and led his side to a 30-16 victory over them.

O’Loughlin played only two games in the last two months of that season - the Challenge Cup final at Wembley and the Grand Final - but went on to play four matches for England in the 2013 World Cup.