SHAUN Wane has heaped praise on his Warriors players for the way they have “ripped into” pre-season training.
Despite the Four Nations having only finished at the weekend, Wigan’s players are already over a week into their preparations for 2012.
And Wane, looking forward to his first Super League campaign as a head coach, admits he couldn’t have asked for any more from his troops.
“I have to give all the lads a big pat on the back, for the way they looked after themselves in the off-season and the way they’ve turned up for pre-season,” Wane told the Evening Post.
“They’ve really impressed me with their attitude to work, because they’re really being put under pressure and being flogged and they’re coming back for more.
“They’ve all responded well, which part of me would expect having known them for so long, but it’s still to be admired. The attitude has been absolutely second to none.
“Everyone’s putting weight on, everyone’s getting stronger and we’ve just started on our skills work which is the next step.”
Wane, who has taken over following Michael Maguire’s departure, has also been pleased with the way things have gone on a personal level after making the transition from No.2 to top dog.
“The main change is that obviously I’m in control now and we do exactly what I want – and that’s great as far as I’m concerned,” he added.
“It was always tough for me doing what Madge wanted to do for the last couple of years, even though he let me do a bit of the planning.
“But I’m very comfortable where we are now, and I’m sure when the season kicks off we’ll be firing on all cylinders.
“The lads are hopefully all comfortable with me by now – they know what I like and what I don’t like. I’m quite an easy-going bloke when things are going good, but I’m not so easy-going when things are going not-so-good.
“The players understand the situation, though, and the only ones who might have a bit of a shock are the new players – and for them it could be a major shock.”
Wigan have three new faces on board for 2012 – former Hull prop Epalahame Lauaki and Welsh pair Gil Dudson and Ben Flower – although speculation persists that NZ Warriors centre Anthony Gelling will also be joining the club.
“We’ve only Lauaki in at the moment, we’re expecting Dudson and Flower in a couple of weeks,” added Wane. “They’ve had an extra rest because of the Four Nations, but they’re coming in earlier than they have to and that’s a great sign.”