Wigan Warriors have confirmed that club captain Sean O’Loughlin has signed a new one-year deal with the DW Stadium club, extending his stay into an eighteenth season at his boyhood club.
After playing in Super League in 2019, 35-year-old O’Loughlin has the option to take up a role with the Warriors’ coaching staff thereafter but, after being part of the Grand Final winning team this season, the England international will be aiming to add to his silverware collection next year. Since making his debut in 2002, O’Loughlin has helped Wigan to four Super League Grand Final wins, two League Leaders’ Shields, two Challenge Cup triumphs and a sole World Club Challenge victory. He was named club captain in 2006.
O’Loughlin made 21 appearances for Wigan in 2018 while also appearing in England’s mid-season test in Denver against New Zealand. He played in the first test against the same opponents last weekend but has been ruled out of the second match with injury.
Leeds had been strongly linked with an interest in taking the experienced loose-forward to Yorkshire for 2019 but the player himself confirmed his intention to stay with the club and is now in line to retire as a one-club-man. Warriors’ executive director Kris Radlinski was delighted to have announced O’Loughlin’s re-signing. “Sean O’Loughlin is a modern day great in our sport and is justifiably seen as a legend of Wigan Warriors,” said Radlinski. “His influence, professionalism and knowledge are crucial attributes that we were desperate to keep at the club, so we are delighted that despite some handsome offers from big teams in Super League, Sean has put pen to paper to see out his career at the club in which he has represented with such distinction,” he added.
Of his new deal, O’Loughlin told the media that he had thought long and hard about his future. “I came to the decision that I’d like to play on and I’m very grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity to do so,” he explained, continuing that “it is no secret that I’ve always wanted to play for this club, so I’m delighted to be able to extend my career here next season.” The forward added that he is keen to help the club retain their Super League title under the stewardship of new head coach Adrian Lam before moving into the coaching world. “Coaching is a route I have always wanted to go down so I’m also happy to have the opportunity to do so after I’ve retired.”