O’Loughlin: Still a big buzz around derby

Sean O'Loughlin
Sean O'Loughlin

Sean O’Loughlin admits he still gets a “buzz” from playing against St Helens.

This is the 15th season he has figured in the derby and, ahead of the Good Friday showdown at Langtree Park, he says the fixture has lost none of its sparkle.

He said: “You don’t get tired of these.

“You do get a buzz from everyone around town before the derby - the Good Friday one in particular. You bump into people and everyone wants the win.

“The towns are a stone’s throw away, people go to school together, work together - it’s about the bragging rights.

“There’s definitely respect between the clubs, from the chairman to the staff to the players, but it’s a fierce rivalry and the intensity builds around the game.

“It’s not just a regular game.

“Yes, it’s only for two points - but it’s a Wigan-Saints two points!”

O’Loughlin has rolled back the years in the Warriors’ last two matches by filling the stand-off role, in place of injured George Williams.

“George is itching to get back, and as soon as he’s fit he can have it back,” smiled the England skipper.

“It’s been a while since I’ve played there. I enjoy the challenge but it’s not my natural position, I prefer it around the middle.

“But when people go down you need to shuffle around.”

Wigan are looking to get back to winning ways after Thursday’s 18-12 loss to early pace-setters Widnes.

And O’Loughlin added: “We’re still in a good position, we’ve won five of our games and there are a lot of points at stake over Easter.

“After a tough defeat, you’d play the day later if you could.

“You’re just keen to get out there and play and Saints away - it’s something we relish.

“Our form hasn’t been fantastic, and Saints have been similar, they’re not hitting top gear.”