Wigan Warriors talking to Sean O'Loughlin about new contract

Sean O'Loughlin returned to face Castleford
Sean O'Loughlin returned to face Castleford

Wigan have opened talks with Sean O’Loughlin about playing on next year.

And coach Adrian Lam hopes it won’t drag on beyond the end of the season like last year.

The captain, who returned from a pectoral injury against Castleford, is out of contract at the end of this season.

He is the only frontline player whose future has yet been secured.

Lam said: “The club has started talking to him, he wants to play on in 2020.

“I think it worked the same way last year, it’s an annual thing and we’ll see how it pans out.”

O’Loughlin signed a new 12-month deal – amid interest from Leeds – days after their Grand Final triumph.

He has spent his entire career with his hometown club and has an agreement to join the coaching staff when he hangs up his boots.

He turns 37 in November and is hoping to lead the revived Great Britain Lions tour Down Under.

While he still has a big influence on the side, Wigan have arguably coped better in his absence this year than in previous campaigns.

"We went the whole off-season without Lockers and that wasn't a bad thing because I knew at times we'd have to play without him," said Lam.

“We can play without him - but we’re a different team with him.

"When Lockers came on (against Castleford), within one or two touches he helped change the game. Just having him, and Ben Flower, in the dressing room just gives the players that confidence that we're going to be okay."

O’Loughlin has already started his coaching career by assisting Shane Eccles with the Under-19s.

They face Warrington at Robin Park on Saturday in their academy Grand Final (12.30pm).