O'Loughlin: I still get same buzz as when I debuted
Sean O'Loughlin admits he still gets the same 'buzz' from playing for Wigan as when he debuted in 2002.
The Warriors captain will reach the special 400 milestone if– as expected – he faces Warrington at the DW Stadium tomorrow night.
He will play with a gold No.13 on his shirt after the RFL approved Wigan’s request to mark the occasion with a unique shirt.
O’Loughlin will move joint-10th on the club’s list of most appearances, a coveted list which includes legends such as Jim Sullivan, Eric Ashton, Billy Boston and Shaun Edwards.
And the 34-year-old said: “I’m not a massive one on stats and figures and achievements, but when I saw the list of the names I’m around, it hit home how special it is.
“The club mark the milestones well and I’m sure the boys will enjoy it as much as I will.
“To reach 400 games for the club is great. That buzz I got when I first played for the club, is still as strong now.
“You hear some people, when they’ve finished playing, they were over the game and ready to retire.
“I don’t feel like I’m there. I love training, love playing, love trying to get better.
“I know I’ve not got a lot of years left in me, but I’m still enjoying it and playing it at a good level.”
While Leeds stalwart Danny McGuire yesterday announced he will move on at the end of the season, out-of-contract O’Loughlin has no intention of following suit.
“I’ve spoken to the club, they want me to be here, I want to be here, it’s just sorting a few minor things out,” he said about a new playing contract.
“I’ve no intention of going anywhere. I’d love to finish my career here.”
Wigan’s impressive 32-10 victory at Catalans last Saturday secured their place in the top-eight ahead of the split for the Super-8s, and cut the gap on a top-four play-offs position to four points.
Opponents Warrington can mathematically avoid falling into the Qualifiers (middle eights) but they would need to win both their remaining matches, and hope Huddersfield lose both of their fixtures before the next phase of the campaign.
“We’re not focussing on Warrington’s situation, it’s more about getting the points we can before the split and crack on and try and get to a final,” said O’Loughlin.
“We know wer’e not at our best but the last two have gone our way and we feel there’s plenty left in the tank.
“If we can pick up some good form I can’t see why we can’t kick on with the competition.
“We went through a similar period last year, when we couldn’t buy a win, but we put some results together and ended up getting our hands on the (Grand Final) trophy.”
Shaun Wane is expected to lead training today after missing Saturday’s match to undergo hip surgery. Jack Wells is expected to replace injured Liam Farrell. The forward is facing around three weeks on the sidelines.
James Child will be referee.