Wane gets the smell of team spirit in Perpignan

Wigan coach Shaun Wane at Wakefield
Wigan coach Shaun Wane at Wakefield

SHAUN Wane reckons back-to-back road trips have been a good chance to galvanise Warriors’ team-spirit.

They spent yesterday exploring Barcelona before relocating to a hotel near Perpignan, ahead of tomorrow night’s clash against Catalan.

In a sport governed by a salary cap, Wigan use travel opportunities to make the club more desirable for players. Already this year they have trained in Florida, travelled to New Zealand, played a World Club Challenge in Sydney and – now – used matches at London and the Dragons as team-building exercises.

Wane said: “We try and do some things different at Wigan, we want to give the players life experiences.

“It’s the reason we took over a bigger squad than we needed Down Under, and doing that helped build a strong team spirit. Some sides dread the Catalan fixture but we look forward to it – we enjoy spending time over here, we do a bit of travelling and all the lads really bond together, and that helps the spirit in the team. It’s only a good trip if we get the two points. Hopefully we’ll be in a good frame of mind to do that.”

Captain Sean O’Loughlin has flown with the squad but remains doubtful for the match, which kicks-off at 9pm French time, 8pm in the UK(Sky Sports 2). Jordan James is likely to replaced suspended Gil Dudson in the only change to the side which beat London 58-6 a week ago. Ex-Warrior Jeff Lima has been included in Catalan’s 19-man squad.

Wigan’s 19-man squad: Bateman, Bowen, Burgess, Burke, Charnley, Clubb, Crosby, Farrell, Gelling, Hughes, James, Manfredi, O’Loughlin, Pettybourne, Powell, Sarginson, Smith, Taylor, Williams

Catalan’s 19-man squad: Escaré, Pryce, Pomeroy, Oldfield, Elima, Henderson, Lima, Taia, Anderson, Mounis, Pelissier, Whitehead, Millard, Bousquet, Baitieri, Duport, Cardace, Garcia, Williams