No holiday for the Warriors

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PAUL Deacon insists the Wigan players will return from their pre-season trip to Florida with far more than impressive suntans.

The Wigan squad jet out today for the east coast of America for some warm-weather training ahead of the new Super League campaign.

While the UK prepares itself for a freezing festive period, Deacon admits it has been hard to persuade people the Stateside trip will be all work, work, work.

“I’ve had that ever year, when I was playing and now – my wife still says it! – but it’s definitely not a holiday,” Deacon said.

“Going there gives you time outside where the weather is nice.

“Anyone who thinks it’s a holiday is wrong. We’re going to get more work done that we can do here.

“We’re going for longer this year to get more work to do, and they’re full-on days.

“We’re going to an MMA gym, doing some wrestling – and training in different environments is good to break the monotony up.

“There’s a mini-triathlon, which I hope to enter, we have different things like that - but it’s important to get the balance right.

“The focus is rugby – and that’s what’s taking up most of our time.”

Deacon has been left in charge of late while Iestyn Harris, Shaun Wane and Mark Bitcon have spent time in Dallas Cowboys on a fact-finding trip.

“I would have loved a trip to the Dallas Cowboys!” Deacon laughed.

“But I mustn’t have earned my stripes yet.

“Seriously, my bosses have been away but the set-up we have here is seamless.

“ The lads are professional, they know what to do.

“The culture of the club makes our job about keeping on top of things, there’s no need to crack the whip – a lot of things take care of themselves.”

Deacon also admits he’s liked what he’s seen so far from new-look half-back pairing Matty Smith and Blake Green.

“Matty has been here a while already from coming in during last season, and Blake appears to have slotted in quite seamlessly,” Deacon added.

“He’s impressed physically and with his skill – we don’t need to change him too much to get him to fit into our system.

“One of the objectives of going to Florida is to help him and get everyone on the same page.”