Lockers Expects Warriors To Be A Force in 2008

Sean O'Loughlin insists Wigan Warriors can be a Super League force to be reckoned with in 2008.

The skipper was an ever-present for the side last season, helping fire Warriors to the Super League play-offs, and almost all the way to the Grand Final.

O'Loughlin said: "There is a tremendous anticipation surrounding the club and I think it could be the start of a very exciting era.

"We made tremendous strides under Brian Noble last season and there is a lot to look forward to.

"Brian fostered a tremendous spirit in the camp and all of sudden there is a real strength in depth look to the squad.

"There is no reason why we can't make a really big impression next season and try to win some silverware."

Noble has signed former Leeds star Richie Mathers and giant Samoa centre George Carmont, while former Bradford player Karl Pryce has returned to rugby league with Warriors after little more than a year in union with Gloucester.

The centre scored 138 points in 52 appearances for Bradford, including 17 tries in 25 appearances in 2005.

O'Loughlin said: "I think we've made some cracking signings and they will really add some power and pace to the squad.

"Karl is still a young guy and a really exciting prospect, I think.

"He has some good experience in Super League before and will give Brian further other options."

Carmont, who captained his country in 2006 and was part of the squad who booked a place at the 2008 World Cup, will fill the vacant centre slot at Wigan created by David Vaealiki's departure.

He was linking up with the squad for the first time today ahead of the training camp in Lanzarote next week.

"George is very well thought over here and I think he will be a smashing addition to the squad," added O'Loughlin. "He is quality player with good defensive qualities.

"The signings are really good ones and they will give us added momentum going into the new season."

Warriors open up their Super League campaign at Harlequins on February 9, and tough-tackling loose forward O'Loughlin admits he can't wait for the big kick-off.

He said: "I've only been back in training a few days but I wish the season was starting again this week.

"We've had a bit of a slow start in recent seasons, but if we can give it a real push early on then we could take some stopping this season.

"I've got a feeling that next year can be a really exciting chapter for us."

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