Sean worthy of a big night

Sean O'Loughlin and teammates
Sean O'Loughlin and teammates

NOBODY deserves a testimonial as much as Warriors captain Sean O’Loughlin, according to head coach Shaun Wane.

Speaking about O’Loughlin, ahead of his testimonial match against Huddersfield on Thursday, January 19, Wane said: “He’s been one of the best pro’s I’ve ever worked with.”

“He’s a great lad to get on with and he’s done a lot in the game, but he’s very unassuming.

“He’s got a great personality.

“You talk about kids improving their skill, but when you look at how hard he works improving his skill, it’s no fluke that he’s done what he has done in his career.

“He works harder than any man I know.”

O’Loughlin [pictured] is Wigan’s longest-serving player, having made his debut back in 2002 in an 18-20 defeat against Hull FC.

Despite coming such a long way since his days in the number 22 jersey, having lifted the Challenge Cup, the Super League trophy, and representing his country 16 times, (11 GB, 5 England), his head coach says the loose forward is still looking to improve himself,

“Every time we finish training, he’ll look at me to do extras,” added Wane.

“Now he’s putting in as much and working as hard as he was right at the start, so it’s an absolute credit to him and I really hope the Wigan fans get behind him and give him what he deserves.”

The testimonial match is part of a pre-season programme of four friendly games in just two weeks for the Warriors, and Wane will use the games to rotate his squad and give experience to fringe players as well as warming-up his first-choice squad.

He said: “I’m looking at throwing some 20s and fringe players in at Lockers’ testimonial against Huddersfield.

“My main games are the away games at Hull KR and Salford, so I will be rotating.

“All the young kids will get a game, and if they stand up and take the challenge on, we’ll kick the new season off with them.”

Full pre-season fixture list:

Jan 15: Hull K.R. (A) 3pm

Jan 19: Huddersfield (H) O’Loughlin testimonial 8pm

Jan 24: Salford (A) 8pm

Jan 27: Leigh (A) 7pm