Wigan prop-forward Joe Bullock gives an insight into his first pre season with the Warriors
Explains the benefit of playing with experienced forwards in the Wigan squad
- Discusses most enjoyable and most challenging aspects to season preparations so far
Preparing for the 2019 season has “been a big learning curve” according to Wigan’s Joe Bullock as he reflects on his first pre season with the Club.
The prop forward was announced as a Wigan player before the end of the 2018 season and was among the first players in for pre season training before Christmas.
Well over a month on from his first day training at Wigan, Bullock was very positive about his progress. He said, “It’s been going really well. Obviously, every week has been getting more and more intense as we get closer to that match intensity which has been a big learning curve for me.”
He continued “The first few weeks was just getting settled in really and now we (new signings) are starting to find our place in the team ahead of the first game, because it’s only a few weeks away.”
Wigan play three pre season fixtures before kicking off their BETFRED Super League title defence heading to fierce rivals St Helens on Thursday 31st January (ticket info HERE).
The last week before Christmas saw the return of Wigan’s international players to training, and the prop forward explained how having the likes of Sean O’Loughlin around has raised the game of the whole squad.
He said, “As the training has increased in intensity, that’s when I feel I’ve had to learn a lot more. In the first few weeks it was quite basic, but now it has become much more particular, meaning players have upped their standards. A lot of the things that I’m trying to learn, particular skills and such mean having more experienced players around is invaluable really.”
He continued, “The standard of training was high anyway, then you bring in the international standard players into the mix, which has driven the standard up higher, which is good for me because they are helping me get better and improve.”
On O’Loughlin in particular – “Especially with Lockers, he has such a wealth of experience, so to have him help guide and improve you is good.”
As part of their pre season training, the Warriors spent two days training in the Lake District, making the most of the natural environment in their preparations for the upcoming season.
On the trip, Bullock said, “It was a really good experience. I like going away because I think it can be a really good bonding experience for everyone. It was also very relatable to our goals this season (Learn more on Wigan TV HERE), because our goal is to climb Everest. (be the first team to win back to back Super League titles).
💪 2019 preparations took another step up with the @WiganWarriorsRL squad heading to the wonderfully wild Lake District. Here is s sneak peak at what they got up to on Day 1 ⬇️— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) January 4, 2019
Head over to @WiganWarriorsTV for an exclusive look at the full day HERE - https://t.co/FsrwpQaUmH pic.twitter.com/AsCQ7ucWzR
“We went up there, climbed some mountains together and had different challenges along the way. It was a great exercise and brought us together as a team.”
On the pre season experience as a whole, Bullock explained how both the Lake District trip and the Red Bull camp back in December were among the most enjoyable things he’s done at Wigan so far.
“They have been very tough in their own different ways but I feel as though we have all benefitted a lot from them. We’ve had to do things as a team, which I feel is the reason we play rugby for, to do it together as a unit and as a team.”
Another thing he particularly enjoyed – “The personal challenge of trying to up my own standards and getting myself into Wigan’s team. If you’d had said to me last year (I’d be in contention for the Wigan first team), I’d have been quite far off. However, now that is a realistic opportunity.”
Discussing the toughest part of the Wigan per season, the prop-forward said, “Probably taking myself from a part-time environment to a full-time environment. In the first few weeks it’s new, fresh and you’re into it. As it’s progressed you begin to feel the intensity rise.
“Another part of it is trying to maintain a standard and develop, coming in every day and making sure I’m at the same level as these internationals, the great players you’re surrounded by. You can up yourself to that level for one session but you’ve got to be consistent and make sure you’re doing that every day, back-to-back. It’s a challenge I’ve enjoyed, but it has been tough also.”
Don’t miss a second of Wigan Warriors action at the DW Stadium this season, grab your season ticket today! For more information, click HERE.