Paul Johnson on his Wigan Warriors exit - and his future plans

Paul Johnson is leaving Wigan when the season ends this month.
Paul Johnson is Wigan's lead strength and conditioning coachPaul Johnson is Wigan's lead strength and conditioning coach
Paul Johnson is Wigan's lead strength and conditioning coach

The former Warriors and Great Britain centre has been the lead strength and conditioning coach for the past few seasons.

Johnson will take a similar role at Leigh Centurions next season – but is also looking forward to expanding his current business.

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He launched website with fitness coach John Wilkinson during the first lockdown, offering classes over Zoom.

And the 41-year-old said: “In sport we train for performance.

“But this venture has really opened my eyes to seeing the importance of training for health and wellbeing, and the satisfaction of seeing people progress.”

Although gyms have closed down in another nationwide lockdown this week, Johnson says many of his clients enjoy training from home.

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“A lot of people came from bootcamps and now they have done it online they don’t want to go back,” he said. “It’s totally changed how people want to operate, they can do it at home, there’s minimal equipment needed – we can always work around what people have got.

“It’s been enjoyable and really rewarding.”

Johnson - who also has a personal training business, - has a wealth of experience in sport.

He broke into the Wigan first-team as a teenager - he has the distinction of scoring the club’s last-ever try at Central Park - and went onto earn Great Britain honours and win trophies with Bradford and Warrington.

After hanging up his boots, he studied sports science at university and returned to hometown club Wigan in 2012, initially with the academy and then with the first-team.

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He says he has fallen victim to the cost-cutting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Head of youth Mick Cassidy has already left.

“It’s very disappointing because I have been a part of the club for 14 years and I’m sad to leave,” he said. “Hopefully we get to finish on a high and win something in a difficult year.”

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