Wolfpack target Warriors star

Sean O'Loughlin
Sean O'Loughlin

Sean O’Loughlin has emerged as a surprise target of Toronto Wolfpack.

The England captain is out of contract with Wigan - and the Canadian outfit are keeping close tabs on the situation.

It is unclear whether they have already made a formal offer. But he is on their radar as they look to strengthen their squad for an assault on the Championship in 2018.

The Wolfpack’s director of rugby, Brian Noble, handed O’Loughlin his Great Britain debut in 2004 before coaching him at Wigan.

O’Loughlin turns 35 later this year but he remains arguably the Warriors’ most influential player - they lost all eight Super League games he missed this season.

He has spent his entire career with his hometown club, and earlier this year passed the 400 games milestone.

He has missed the last two games with a calf strain, but was at Wakefield on Saturday as the Warriors tumbled to a final day 32-0 defeat. The No.13 will now turn his attention to leading England into the World Cup Down Under.

O’Loughlin is the only frontline Wigan player out of contract.

The two parties have had talks about a contract for 2018, but haven’t been able to reach an agreement. He already has a deal in place to join Wigan’s coaching staff once he hangs up his boots.

Wolfpack, coached by ex-Leigh boss Paul Rowley, marched to the League One title this season - their first in existence - to secure promotion to the Championship.

They play their home and away games in blocks of a few weeks to minimalise travel, and attracted an average crowd of around 7,000 to Lamport Stadium.

They are well-financed, and they have already recruited Warrington prop Ashton Sims and Canberra forward Dave Taylor for next season in the hope they can push for a Super League spot in 2019.