WIGAN delivered a double dose of good news ahead of the Grand Final - announcing new three-year deals for Shaun Wane and Sean O’Loughlin.
The Warriors revealed the contracts last night, ahead of today’s Super League showdown with St Helens.
Chairman Ian Lenagan said: “It is very symbolic that we have jointly announced these deals as it is very evident that they work very well together. There is a lot of trust between them and we couldn’t have two more committed people in the key positions of head coach and captain of Wigan.”
The move about Wane staying on will hardly come as a surprise - he revealed back in January that he had verbally agreed a new contract.
But the timing of the announcement, on the eve of the Grand Final, will be seen by many as significant.
Wane’s deal will be for “a minimum of three years and rolling thereafter,” Lenagan added.
Since succeeding Michael Maguire, Wane has guided Wigan to a league leaders’ shield success in 2012 and a trophy double last year.
“There is still a lot I want to achieve at Wigan and I will always be totally committed to achieving those goals,” he said.
Under his previous deal, O’Loughlin had an option to play on in 2015 ahead of a move into a coaching role at the club.
This replacement contract suggests the 31-year-old new England captain will not hang up his boots until the end of 2017.
He said: “I still have a lot of personal ambition and I am as hungry as ever to win more trophies with this great Club, before moving on to my agreed coaching position at Wigan.” Meanwhile, Wane has revealed what his final instructions to his players will be tonight – keep your cool.
Ahead of Wigan’s Grand Final showdown against St Helens, the coach says he will remind his stars to keep their emotions in check.
Wane is a proud Wiganer and has made no secret of what the derby means to him and his players. But as they prepare for the Old Trafford showdown (kick-off, 6pm), he has stressed the need to focus on the job in front of them – and not on the prize at stake.
Wane told the Evening Post last night: “I’ll tell the players to remember what got them into this position. We all know what a win would mean. But I want them thinking about the process of getting the win.
“Play smart, be disciplined, do your job. Do that, and the outcome will look after itself.”
Warriors fans are expected to outnumber their Saints counterpart at Old Trafford tonight, with a crowd of around 70,000 packing in for the hotly-anticipated showdown between Super League’s top-two.
“Emotion plays a big part,” said Wane.
“But a Grand Final, a derby, in front of 70,000 fans... it’s about staying in control of your emotions, too.”