A Sean leader

Sean O Loughlin next to the Sam Tomkins branded Eddie Stobart lorry
Sean O Loughlin next to the Sam Tomkins branded Eddie Stobart lorry

SHAUN Wane has decided against naming a formal leadership team to support Sean O’Loughlin.

But the head coach says a senior group of players will still help support the skipper throughout the campaign.

Former coach Michael Maguire introduced the leadership team concept in 2010, in which O’Loughlin shared the captaincy role with four other players.

The following year, he took the armband back but a senior group – Ryan Hoffman, Thomas Leuluai, George Carmont, Andy Coley and Joel Tomkins – remained in place.

Wane has not binned the concept, but the coach will be flexible about who he calls on for ideas, rather than a rigid group of five or six players.

He explained: “The leadership team is not massively important to me – it was to Madge, it isn’t to me. If the players decide they want to go down that way, maybe it’s something we’ll look at, but I can’t see it happening.

“There aren’t going to be a set five... if I want to speak about a game, there are people that I talk to.

“I lean on Lockers heavily for everything, he’s never out my office.

“And depending what we’re working on and who we’re playing, I know who else to speak to.

“If it’s about attack, I’ll talk to Tommy Leuluai or Brett Finch, if it’s about defending in the middle, I’ve got players like Paul Prescott and Stuart Fielden.

“You look at Stu, he wasn’t in the leadership team, but I’d be daft not to speak to him when he’s got as much experience as he has.

“So we still have a group of senior players there, doing the same, but it’ll be more flexible.”

When Maguire introduced the leadership team, he also said he wanted the group to help O’Loughlin maintain the hard-working culture across the squad.

Wane has already laid the law down to his players about what standards he demands, and added: “I have my own code of conduct, and it’s a lot more strict than it’s been.

“The players understand that and they’ve bought into it – the players are clear what’s acceptable and what’s not.

“It’s about how they behave in training, with staff, on the coach, in hotels and away from the club. We still have our down-time, but the players are clear about when that is.”

Wane and O’Loughlin were at Old Trafford yesterday for the official launch of the Stobart Super League.