Tony Clubb's sights on future coaching career
And since then, he has become more involved with the junior players as he tries to lay a foundation for a move into the coaching ranks when he decides to hang up his boots.
This year, the 32-year-old has been assisting academy coach Shane Eccles.
“I’ve been interested in coaching for a little while. I asked if it was okay to go down to watch the Under-18s and share some knowledge,” said the prop.
“Shane Eccles has been really good; I’ve taken a focus on the defensive side of things. I’m trying to balance rugby and coaching – I’m going into train at 8am and by the time I’ve finished with the Under-18s it’s 7pm at night, so they’re long days but I enjoy it.
“I did my coaching badges before I came to Wigan and it was always something, I was interested in. I went into a junior school first, then went onto teenagers, then into open age.
“It’s tough but when you’re passionate and want them to get better it’s pretty easy. Me and Lockers (Sean O’Loughlin) go down and help out as much as we can.”
Clubb has a wealth of experience to tap into, having won a World Club Challenge and a Grand Final and even represented England earlier in his career.
But he is candid enough to admit he is still learning the ropes as a coach.
“I shout a lot during training – a bit too much,” he says.
“It’s how I like to train but I know I need to tone it down.
“It was hard at first because you speak to them as first teamers, but you have to realise some of them are very young still, so you need to man-manage a bit more. And it’s definitely something I’m going to work on going forward working with the Under-18s.
“The younger lads want to learn and want to get better. I want to pass on my 15-years of experience to these lads, who will hopefully make their debut in the next year or two.
“They know what they want to do. It’s good to see. It’s good to share and pass on what I’ve learnt.
“I just give them tiny little tips of how to be better – I’m trying to make them the best they can be.
“It’s nothing they don’t know, it’s just tiny adjustments to their wrestling and tackling – and then they soak that up, go out and do it and it’s rewarding to see that.
“It is quite rewarding. I went to watch them against Leeds two weeks ago and Harry Rushton by far was man of the match.
“It’s something for after I retire – maybe not as head coach but the defensive side of things is definitely something I want to look into – possibly as an assistant.”
And when Wigan do return to action, it will be something of a landmark for Clubb – his next match will be his 150th as a Wigan player.
A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:
Thank you for reading this story on our website.
But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.
Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.
As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."
But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.
We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.
HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.