Lockers is the key says England boss McNamara

Sean O'Loughlin in action against Warrington Wolves
Sean O'Loughlin in action against Warrington Wolves

STEVE McNamara has hailed Sean O’Loughlin as being “massive” to their World Cup plans.

Wigan’s England contingent spent the early part of this week with their international team-mates in a training camp under McNamara’s watch.

They play a match against the Exiles in four weeks as they tune-up their preparations for the World Cup tournament later this year.

And Test coach McNamara has saluted the Warriors skipper as a complete forward primed for a huge role.

He said: “Sean’s massive for us. I’ve been really impressed with his attitude and approach since I’ve been England coach.

“He’s been unliucky with injuries throughout his international career.

“But what epitomised it for me was in the autumn international series last year. He was part of our group, he was sensational in the first game for 30 minutes before pulling his hamstring.

“At that point, he’d been to South Africa and gone through the preparation with us, it would have been quite easy for a player of his calibre to not really force himself. But he insisted on staying and got himself fit for the final, and that says a lot about the quality player he is.”

O’Loughlin made his Test debut in 2004, and helped Great Britain to a series victory against New Zealand three years later.

“He’s an important member of our group,” added McNamara.

“He has all the skills and attributes and the physique to do that at the highest level.”