Joel Tomkins says training has “picked up” since Shaun Wane underlined the importance of the club’s culture.
With the squad slowly evolving over the last two years as young players have progressed into the side – and a a sprinkling of recruits have been added – Wane reminded them of their standards as Wigan players.
And Tomkins – at 30 one of the most experienced players in the squad – has noticed the difference since the issue was raised.
“We’ve spoken about the culture and what we want moving forwards,” the dual-code international said.
“I think in the last couple of years, some of our standards around training needed to be picked up a little bit.
“We identified that as something we can improve on, and that will improve us as a team and a club as a whole.
“Waney has put quite a big emphasis on the culture around the club, and what it is, because a lot of the young boys who came into the squad didn’t really know.
“So, we’ve revisited that – it’s probably something you need to do every two or three years – and just remind everyone what the culture of the club is, and what we want moving forward.”
The Wigan players trained yesterday and today to ensure the Christmas spell doesn’t stall their winter training.
Their pre-season included a four-day camp in Wales which combined conditioning sessions with team-building exercises. “Being in Wales was hard work but it was enjoyable, Red Bull looked after us and we met some people from other sports,” said Tomkins.
“We spoke to a big wave surfer and downhill bikers, so they’re pretty far away from our sport, there’s not much crossover.
“But listening to their stories, and the challenges they’ve overcome in terms of overcoming setbacks and injuries... you can relate to that.
“It’s good to do different things, it freshens things up. We’ve been in the gym for six weeks and you can lift weights all day, you can run all day, but doing something different works different muscles and makes you think a lot more, and a change of scenery is good. It gives everyone a boost to rip in again.”
Wigan’s World Cup contingent will return to training next week.
Tomkins added: “When the new year starts, the international boys return and it’s more about the rugby – this past couple of months has been about fitness and strength.”