O’Loughlin to miss Cas clash

Wigan Player Sean O'Loughlin
Wigan Player Sean O'Loughlin

SEAN O’Loughlin will be missing as Wigan aim to cement their position at the top of Super League against Castleford tonight.

The Warriors skipper has failed a fitness test on the hamstring problem that forced him off against London last weekend and will have to be content with a seat in the stands.

Matty Smith will make his home debut after impressive performances on the road at Wakefield and London, with Wigan looking to imcrease their recent unbeaten record against the Tigers to eight matches.

Warriors have all their eggs in one basket now after bowing out of the Challenge Cup earlier this month.

And coach Shaun Wane says they’ll have a new secret weapon in their Super League run-in - Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins.

The Team Sky rider, who was born in Belgium but now lives in Eccleston, has made no secret of his love for the cherry-and-whites.

Wiggins was pictured at the most famous cycling race in the world with a Wigan holdall, and spent his first day after winning the most gruelling race on the planet back taking his son to a coaching course led by Sam and Logan Tomkins.

The 32-year-old is not the only celebrity fan to nail his colours to the Wigan mast, after Rio Ferdinand was pictured in the Wigan changing room after the win at Leeds back in June.

And Wane has revealed the same courtesy will be afforded to a man who is being tipped to become a kinght of the realm in the New Year’s Honours List.

“All our players are big football fans and cycling and golf; they all love other sports,” Wane said.

“I’m the same and - with Bradley being a Wigan fan - I look forward to him coming to our changing room on matchdays and coming to training. He can do what he wants.

“His mental toughness must be unbelievable. We think we’re tough but to do what he’s doing on his own, it’s easy to sit back and he had that two minute lead for so long - it was an outstanding effort, I was really impressed.

“We knew he was a Wigan fan. He’s been in touch with the lads on Twitter and Facebook for months and months, I knew he was a big Wigan fan.

He comes to most of our games. He went to the camp with Sam and Logan at the weekend so he’s obviously got good taste with St Pats and Wigan Warriors!”

Warriors 19 Man Squad: S Tomkins, Charnley, Goulding, Carmont, Finch, McIlorum, Mossop, Hansen, Hock, Lima, Farrell, Tuson, Lauaki, Flower, Gelling, Hughes, Crosby, Thornley, Smith.