Wane happy with American preparations

Shaun Wane and performance analyst Russ MacFarlane
Shaun Wane and performance analyst Russ MacFarlane

SHAUN Wane says the early days of their USA have been hugely successful – and point to “a better camp” than the past two years.

The Warriors jetted out on Saturday and have now completed two full days of training under the Florida sun.

Five players – NRL recruits Eddy Pettybourne and Matty Bowen, as well as England World Cup stars Sean O’Loughlin, Josh Charnley and Mike McIlorum – only joined the squad last week.

And with their Super League defence beginning exactly one month from today, Wane says their trip Stateside is vital.

He said: “I can’t stress how massively important this is to us.

“We’re guaranteed warm weather, so we’re on the field all day – if we were back home, in the cold, the sessions aren’t as good.

“It’s very similar to the past camps, we’ll throw a trip to an MMA gym in there and give the players a bit of time away.

“But this will be a better camp because we’re further on fitness-wise than we have been before, which allows me to focus more on skills and the technical side.

“It’s also important for the new blokes to really get to know each other. They’re living together, which obviously breaks down those barriers a lot quicker.”

Florida has avoided the cold snap which has affected large parts of America, with temperatures in the early-30s – though rain is forecast for most of the week.

The Wigan coaching staff was hoping to this week visit the IMG Academy, a breeding ground for many Olympians and NFL players.

“We’re always on the look out for things we can do to improve,” said Wane.

Epa Lauaki and Andy Powell have not travelled to America, amid intensifying speculation their futures lie away from Wigan.

The Under-19s have travelled to the south of France for a warm-weather camp involving Catalan Dragons and Leeds.

DETAILS of this year’s international schedule are set to be unveiled.

The mid-season Exiles match could be scrapped but England will travel Down Under for a Four Nations, with two group games in New Zealand – against the Kiwis and either Fiji or Samoa – and a Test against Australia in Melbourne.

Wigan assistant coach Paul Deacon and performance director Mark Bitcon are expected to extend their run with England.

WARRIORS remain keen on Huddersfield forward Larne Patrick, but a transfer fee would need to be agreed before a deal can be reached. Wigan have enquired about the 25-year-old prop, who has travelled with the Giants to a Portugal training camp.