O’Loughlin hopes this isn’t his swansong season

Sean O'Loughlin

Sean O'Loughlin

Sean O’Loughlin leads Wigan into their Super League defence this weekend – hoping this isn’t his last season as a player.

The captain, entering the final year of a playing contract, turns 35 in November.

Captains and key players at the Super League launch

Captains and key players at the Super League launch

But he has no plans to make this year his swansong campaign.

He said: “This is my last year as it stands but I don’t feel ready to pack in yet.

“I’ll see how the season goes, we’ll have a conversation down the line but I hope it’s not (my last season), I do want to go around again.

“If Waney and Rads are happy for me to go around again I’m more than happy to.”

O’Loughlin has just completed his first full, uninterrupted pre-season in years ahead of Saturday’s opener at Salford (kick-off 1.15pm).

His former England team-mates Jamie Peacock and Adrian Morley played into their late-30s, while Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis is nearing his 36th birthday.

O’Loughlin captained England to a series triumph against New Zealand in 2015 but missed out on the Four Nations due to injury. He is eyeing a recall for the Test against Samoa in May – as well as the World Cup later this year.

And he would have no problem with Sam Burgess retaining the captaincy.

“It was great to be captain, but now it’s about playing for England,” he added.

“If I’m captain, great, but if not it won’t affect my commitment to England. I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting to be a part of that set-up.”