Wigan Warriors captain Sean O'Loughlin wants place on Great Britain tour
Sean O'Loughlin heads into 2019 knowing how he wants the year to end '“ with a place on the Lions tour Down Under.
The England captain turned 36 last November but will head into the new Super League season with an open mind of playing on beyond this campaign.Regardless of whether this is his last season or not, he would love to continue his international career and play for the revived Great Britain side for the autumn tour.“I’d love to be a part of that,” said O’Loughlin.
“My international debut was with Great Britain and if they want me to be a part of that, I 100 per cent would be.”O’Loughlin played for GB from 2004 to ‘07 before it was disbanded, and the national team has competed as England since.Wayne Bennett’s squad face Tests against New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea later this year.O’Loughlin says he will wait until later in the season to see how his body is holding up before making a decision on whether he hangs up the boots this year or goes around again in 2020.
He said: “It took long enough to sort this contract out so I’m not thinking of it!“I’m not going to make a call before a ball has been kicked. A decision will be made on how I perform and how I feel, and we won’t know either until later in the year.”He and the other England and France internationals were late back to training because of their involvement in autumn Tests.“It’s good to be back in, the boys are flying and they look like they’re enjoying it,” he said.O’Loughlin is the only member of the squad who has worked with new coach Adrian Lam before – they were team-mate’s during the latter’s four-year spell as a player from 2001.Over the years, they have been generous in their praise of each other, with O’Loughlin describing him as the best scrum-half he had played with – while Lam compared the loose-forward’s composure to Australian legend, Darren Lockyer.“Even as a teenager, Sean had confidence and composure,” Lam wrote in the skipper’s testimonial brochure in 2012. “I saw it with Darren and I saw it in Sean, and I can’t think of any player since who’s come through with the same quality in such abundance.”O’Loughlin says he was not surprised to see the former Queensland captain move into coaching when he retired.“You can often tell which players will go into coaching, usually they enjoy the technical side of the game and study it,” said the forward. “Most halves are like that but Lammy especially, he was a creative player, a skilful player and that side has carried on into his coaching.“Seeing him now, the way he talks on the field, the boys are enjoying being coached by him.”