O’Loughlin has no plans to quit England

Sean O'Loughlin scores against New Zealand
Sean O'Loughlin scores against New Zealand

SEAN O’Loughlin aims to continue playing for his country beyond this year.

The skipper, who turns 33 later this month, has ruled out the prospect of following former Test team-mates Jamie Peacock and Gareth Ellis, who retired from the international scene in the latter stages of their careers.

As long as I’m wanted, I want to be involved with England

Sean O’Loughlin

England are on the brink of a series victory against New Zealand, following their opening victory in Hull on Sunday.

And while some may see success on the international stage as the perfect time to bow out, O’Loughlin has no plans to quit.

Speaking at their Staffordshire training base yesterday, he said: “I understand why some players might do that.

“But as long as Steve (McNamara) wants me to play I’ll be available.

“I enjoy playing for my country and while I have loyalties to Wigan as well, as long as I’m fit and healthy, I’ll always be wanting to play for England.”

Next year England is staging a Four Nations, with a World Cup the following year Down Under.

“I don’t know what the next few years will entail for me,” O’Loughlin continued. “But as long as I’m wanted, I want to be involved with England.”

Around 5,000 tickets were last night available for Saturday’s second Test at the 50,000-capacity Olympic Stadium in London.

The third Test at Wigan’s DW Stadium the week later is expected to be confirmed as a sell-out today.

Coach McNamara will today name his 19-man squad for the second Test and didn’t indicate any changes. Wigan players O’Loughlin, Liam Farrell, George Williams, John Bateman and Joe Burgess were all in the team which won 26-12 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, O’Loughlin was surprised to learn he had been “automatically selected” to play for a rebranded NRL World All Stars team to face the Indigenous All Stars in Brisbane on February 13.

An NRL press release yesterday said the England captain would be involved in the match - which clashes with Wigan’s second game of the 2016 season and is just a week before their World Club Series match against Brisbane Broncos.

“I didn’t know anything about it until someone mentioned it 10 minutes ago,” said O’Loughlin. “I can’t see that happening while we’re in the season.”

It’s thought his inclusion was an error because officials thought James Graham - who plays at NRL side Canterbury Bulldogs - was skipper of the national side.