O’Loughlin still keen to play for England again

Sean O'Loughlin and his Wigan team-mates were at Haigh Hall yesterday for their media day
Sean O'Loughlin and his Wigan team-mates were at Haigh Hall yesterday for their media day

England captain Sean O’Loughlin has reiterated his desire to continue playing for his country.

He turned 35 during the World Cup and, minutes after the 6-0 final defeat to Australia, said he had not considered retiring from the representative game.

He has not changed his plans during the winter break, though he admits he could have no complaints if he was overlooked to make way for his long-term successor.

“I’ve no intention of not playing for them again,” said O’Loughlin, who took part in Wigan’s media day at Haigh Hall yesterday.

“I understand when you come to the back end of your career, coaches sometimes want to look at who can fill that role and I’d understand if they wanted to invest time in whoever they want to fill that position.

“But I’ll always put my hand up, I love playing for England – I want to play.”

England host New Zealand in a three Test series at the end of this year.

There has also been talk of a mid-season international, though plans for a match against the Kiwis in Denver, USA, seems to have been scuppered by opposition from NRL clubs.

The RFL has yet to confirm whether Brisbane’s Wayne Bennett will continue as England coach – his two-year deal expired after the World Cup.

“He never gave us any inkling he wouldn’t be staying,” added O’Loughlin.

“What he did for us was great, the boys really enjoyed his company and learning from him.

“What Steve McNamara did with the set-up was great and Wayne built on that and progressed on that. I’d love him to stay on.”

O’Loughlin is hoping Shaun Wane will give him a run-out in Sunday’s friendly at Leigh. Warriors start their new Super League season at Salford on February 2.