SHAUN Wane says he got everything he hoped for “and more” from their USA training camp as the Warriors jetted back to England last night.
The Wigan squad were due to arrive at Manchester Airport today after completing their week-long trip under the Florida sun.
Wane, in his first year as head coach, oversaw an intense schedule which included training at the beach, in a mixed-martial arts gym and field-work.
Just before stepping on the flight home last night, he said: “Everything has gone smoothly, everything has gone to plan.
“We’ve been on the field every day and doing other things as well. It’s been full on.
“I said I wanted to cram two weeks of work into one week, and we have.
“We’ve achieved everything we set out to – and more.
“The lads have been a credit to themselves.” Wane even put the players into the MMA Octagon, pairing them against each other under UFC rules!
Without revealing the match-ups and who came out on top, he admitted: “That was a really tough day, all the lads ripped in.
“Even the injured lads who couldn’t take part and get into the Octagon, did a really hard session instead.”
Wane, working with his new coaching team of Iestyn Harris and recently-retired halfback Paul Deacon, says the week away has helped the new recruits settle into the side. Welsh prop Gil Dudson stayed behind because of personal reasons, but Ben Flower, Epalahame Lauaki and Anthony Gelling all made the trip.
Wane said: “One of the big objectives was making sure the new lads got up to speed with how we train, the intensity, the levels we expect. They’ve certainly done that – I can’t commend them and the rest of the lads enough.”
He rewarded them for their efforts by taking the entire squad to watch Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 31-15 defeat by the Dallas Cowboys. “The NFL game was awesome,” he added.
“I’d never been to one before and friends had said I’d be bored, but I got into it – the atmosphere was great, and the game was really good to watch. There are some terrific athletes.”
Wane will give his senior squad a break for Christmas.
While many other Super League clubs are playing festive friendlies, the Warriors have no action until their pre-season encounter at Hull KR on January 15.