O’Loughlin signs new Wigan contract

Sean O'Loughlin was the only senior player out of contract this year
Sean O'Loughlin was the only senior player out of contract this year

Captain fantastic Sean O’Loughlin is staying at Wigan.

The Warriors captain - who was out of contract - has agreed a new deal to finish his playing career with his hometown club.

O’Loughlin had been in talks with the Warriors’ management for months but had failed to strike an agreement.

The uncertainty over his future was heightened by strong interest from ambitious Championship outfit Toronto Wolfpack.

But the Canadian side’s £130,000 capture of Warrington loose forward Joe Westerman earlier today suggested they had not been able to prise O’Loughlin away from Wigan.

And that was confirmed tonight at the club’s awards dinner.

Chairman Ian Lenagan confirmed O’Loughlin - who made his 400th appearance for Wigan earlier this year - will see out his playing career at the club.

O’Loughlin said: “I’m a Wigan lad, to be here so long is a privilege and it’s great that I’ll see out my career here.”

The England skipper had already agreed to take a coaching role at the club, once he hangs up his boots, as part of his last contract.

He claimed three awards at the event at the DW Stadium.

As well as taking the Chairman’s Award, he was voted Player’s Player of the Year and Player of the Year.

The prizes recognised his sterling contribution over the 2017 campaign.

O’Loughlin turns 35 later this year but his form has shown no signs of fading.

He played in 26 matches for Wigan, including the historic World Club Challenge victory, as well as England’s mid-season international against Samoa.

He was the only Warriors player included in the Super League Dream Team, the fictitious line-up which recognises the best players in each position.

Perhaps most tellingly, Wigan failed to win a single one of their eight league matches without O’Loughlin in the side.

Their only victory in his absence came in a Challenge Cup tie against part-timers Swinton.

Wingers Liam Marshall and Tom Davies shared the Young Player of the Year prize.

Both have enjoyed wonderful breakthrough seasons with their hometown club.

Sam Tomkins won the ‘tackle of the year’ - much to his surprise - for stopping Regan Grace in the Super-8s derby win at St Helens.