Peet, O’Loughlin and Leuluai sign new deals

  • Head Coach Matt Peet and Assistant Coaches Sean O’Loughlin OBE and Thomas Leuluai sign new seven-year deals.
  • Coaching team in place until the end of the 2030 season.
  • Matt Peet: “This commitment is a sign of the faith the club and the supporters have in me and my team.”

Wigan Warriors are delighted to announce that Head Coach Matt Peet along with Assistant Coaches Sean O’Loughlin OBE and Thomas Leuluai have penned new seven-year deals that will see them remain with the Club until at least the end of the 2030 season.

The long-term appointments are a clear indicator of the faith in the current shape of the coaching setup and the direction of travel of the team and Club as a whole.

Matt Peet has become one of the most respected coaches in the game, known for his honesty and commitment to the community values of the Club, with Sean O’Loughlin and Thomas Leuluai bringing almost 1000 games of combined experience in first grade and international rugby league to the table. 

Thomas Leuluai joined the coaching team after he hung up his playing boots at the end of the 2022 season, and in 2023 the trio led the Warriors to a League Leaders’ Shield and Grand Final victories before claiming the World Club Challenge against Penrith Panthers at the end of last month.

All three share the same pride, desire to win and complete understanding of the fans, the town and the Community of Wigan.

Peet started his coaching career in the amateur game with Westhoughton and Wigan St Patrick’s before a move to Wigan in 2008 as a Scholarship coach. His coaching journey through the junior ranks saw him lead the Academy and Reserves side rising to Head of Youth Performance, before a brief spell away from the Club at Sale in 2018. He returned to the Club in 2019 as Assistant to Adrian Lam before landing the Head Coaches job for the start of the 2022 season.

Sean O’Loughlin is a one-club man. He joined Wigan as a Junior from Wigan St Patrick’s and went on to become Captain for both Club and Country playing 458 games for Wigan.  He was awarded an OBE in the birthday honours list in 2022 for his services to Rugby League.

Thomas Leuluai joined Wigan from London Broncos ahead of the 2007 season and played 327 times for the Club over two spells. He represented New Zealand 40 times and with whom he won the Rugby League World Cup in 2008.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ – 04/02/2024 – Rugby League – Warm Up Match – Scott Taylor Testimonial – Hull FC v Wigan Warriors – MKM Stadium, Kingston upon Hull, England – Matt Peet.

On the deal, Head Coach Matt Peet said: “The opportunity to continue leading this team of players and staff is a special responsibility and one that makes me very proud.

“I am delighted to extend my contract. To have the expertise and friendship of Sean and Tommy beside me is a great source of strength.” 

Peet continued: “To the board and the fans thank you for your continued trust and relentless support.

“In keeping with the people of this town and the history of this club we will continue to learn, work hard and look after one another.  “Our community is at the heart of everything we do.”

Sean O’Loughlin added: “It’s been a privilege for me to be involved in the coaching setup at the Club I played for my whole career. I’m thrilled that the board has shown such faith in Matt, Tommy and myself to extend our contracts for such a long period. I look forward to continuing the work we’ve been doing with relative success up to now. We have a great group of players who come to work every day wanting to learn and improve with every session.”

Chief Executive, Kris Radlinski commented on the long-term deals: “I believe it’s useful to articulate my thought process. It all began during the pre-season training camp in Portugal and witnessing the coaching team up close during the camp served as the catalyst. Whilst I knew Matt, Sean and Thomas were talented, seeing their depth of knowledge and delivery, and the players’ receptiveness was impressive.  

He added: “Part of my role is to look ahead constantly, and I always need to contemplate our next steps should the coaches decide to move on. Our trio of coaches, led by Matt Peet, have not only won matches and trophies but also the hearts of the players, the fans and the Communities they represent. Alongside this is their continual desire to learn and eagerness for development. They go about their business in a humble and unassuming manner.

“This realisation spurred a late-night email to our Owner, Chairman, and Director, outlining my thoughts. Their unanimous response was clear: we must retain these guys. We also recognise the demanding nature of the coaching profession, with constant media attention and a microphone in your face at every turn. At this point, I began to develop a long-term plan focused on financial security, professional growth, and personal well-being. It’s crucial to prioritise the work-life balance of our three coaches, all of whom have young families, ensuring they can manage their time effectively to lead fulfilling lives both personally and professionally.

Radlinski summarised: “The outcome? We have three outstanding and determined coaches who are hungry for success, dedicated to improvement and nurtured in an environment of support and well-being—a facet often overlooked in professional sport. I believe what we have created is a unique offering in the sports industry, where the well-being and support for the people who lead the teams are often neglected. I am confident that these exceptional individuals will guide our club to further success.”

Matt Peet is sponsored by Wigan Warriors Lotto Agents and Sean O’Loughlin & Thomas Leuluai are sponsored by Chris & Nicola Martindale.

Wednesday 20 March 2024