Lockers: Bath will plug the champs’ gaps

Sean O'Loughlin
Sean O'Loughlin

SEAN O’Loughlin reckons Wigan’s training session with Bath RU will be the perfect way to sharpen their focus on their last three Super League games.

Shaun Wane has used the extra time off - owing to Saturday’s Challenge Cup Final - to take the first-team squad on a camp with one of the biggest names in English rugby union.

They headed to Bath yesterday and will train with Mike Ford’s outfit today and tomorrow.

And skipper O’Loughlin hopes the benefits will be there to see during the Warriors’ three-game run to the play-offs, against Widnes, Leeds and Warrington.

“It’s a bit of a freshen up,” the England Test forward said. “When you go away you’re 100 per cent focused on training, because there’s nothing else to do, and you get a bit more out of it.

“It’s a good final bit of preparation for our last three games before the play-offs.

“Once you get into the play-offs, you know what’s at stake and that’s all the build-up you need, but between now and then this will give us a chance to focus our attention on the last three games.

“It’s good to use the extra time off to change the scenery and keep everyone fresh.”

This is the third time this year O’Loughlin and his Wigan team-mates have travelled to train with another professional team. In February they had sessions with New Zealand Warriors and Souths Sydney Rabbitohs in the build-up to the World Club Challenge.

And he reckons the element of professional pride will ensure every player gives his all.

“Whenever someone new comes to training, or you go somewhere else, you want to train your best and show what we do well - I’m sure they’ll be the same,” he said.

“It’s also a chance to look at each other and see if there are any techniques that transfer over. Whenever you meet other sportspeople you try and take a bit away.”

O’Loughlin’s England team-mate Sam Burgess will be joining Bath at the end of Souths’ NRL season. Expecting questions about the rampaging forward, he said: “If they ask, I’ll tell them they’ve got a great player on their hands. At the minute he’s playing really well, he’s a loss to our game and he’ll be a big bonus for Bath, and England as well.”