In focus: Sean O'Loughlin

In focus: Sean O'Loughlin

By Alastair Hancock

  • After signing a new one-year deal for his final season with the Club, we take a closer look at Sean O’Loughlin’s 18-year career so far.

  • 36-year-old played his 450th game for Wigan Warriors during 2019 campaign.

  • Overall he has won one World Club Challenge, four Super League titles, two Challenge Cups and two League Leaders Shields.

After signing a one-year contract extension with Wigan Warriors for what will be his final season, we take an in-depth look at Sean O’Loughlin’s 18-year stellar career.

The 36-year-old will now enter his 19th season with his hometown club in 2020, having signed a new-deal to remain at the DW Stadium.

He has played his entire rugby league career at Wigan and is one of the most respected, consistent and inspirational individuals of the Super League era.

Revered by colleagues and opposition players alike, with many pointing to him as one of the modern greats, the loose forward is Captain of both club and country.

O’Loughlin in pre-season training this week.

Rugby league runs deep in the O’Loughlin family, with both his father, Keiron, and his uncle, Kevin, playing over 250 games each for Wigan during the 1970s.

Sean followed in Keiron’s and Kevin’s footsteps as he started playing rugby league for Wigan St Patricks ARLFC, before being snapped up by Wigan’s Academy.

His first senior appearance for the Club came in a home game against Hull FC in 2002, and two weeks later he made his first start, playing as loose forward in an away game against Warrington Wolves.

In 2006, O’Loughlin was handed the Wigan captaincy, taking over from brother-in-law, Andy Farrell.

Under his leadership, the Warriors stormed their way to the 2010 League Leaders’ Shield and the Super League title, giving O’Loughlin his first set of silverware as a Wigan player.

The following year, he led the Club to its first Challenge Cup in nine years, overcoming Leeds Rhinos in the final at Wembley, and in 2012, he captained Wigan to a second League Leaders’ Shield.

In 2013, O’Loughlin skippered the Cherry and Whites to a historic double, with another Super League crown and Challenge Cup being added to the Club’s trophy cabinet.

O’Loughlin (left) alongside Shaun Wane (centre) and Blake Green (right) after the 2013 Grand Final win.

He lifted his third Super League title in 2016, after a 12-6 victory over Warrington at Old Trafford.

A few months later in February 2017, the England international captained the Warriors to a record-breaking fourth World Club Challenge triumph, following a 22-6 win over Cronulla Sharks at the DW Stadium.

Later in that year, he was named the Club’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year.

O’Loughlin (right) alongside Joe Burgess (left) and Shaun Wane (centre) after the 2017 World Club Challenge victory.

O’Loughlin’s most recent Grand Final winning ring came in October 2018, as Wigan overcame Warrington for a third time.

In 2019, the former Great Britain representative made 23 appearances for Head Coach Adrian Lam, including the historic Betfred Super League fixture against Catalans Dragons at the Camp Nou in Barcelona in May.

He hit the 450 landmark against St Helens in September’s Betfred Super League Play-Off Semi-Final at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

And despite defeat, O’Loughlin led his team out to commemorate a special night and now holds the Wigan record for most derby appearances of 50.

Overall in 451 games for Wigan, O’Loughlin has claimed one World Club Challenge, four Super League titles, two Challenge Cups and two League Leaders Shields, as well as being named in the Super League Dream Team a record seven times.

Of his 451 games, he has made 419 starts and 33 appearances off the bench, scored eight tries, converted three goals and kicked two drop-goals - accumulating to 360 points overall.

He is seventh on the all-time Wigan appearance maker list, with only Shaun Edwards, Billy Boston, Eric Ashton, Ernie Ashcroft, Ken Gee and Jim Sullivan above him.

No three words could describe Sean O’Loughlin more than Leader, Loyal and Legend. The one-Club man will go down as one of Wigan Warriors’ greatest ever players, and at 36-year-old there is plenty more fight in the tank, as he aims to lift a fifth Super League title in 2020.

Statistical information provided by Club Historian Keith Sutch.

Reacting to signing his latest deal, O’Loughlin said: “I’m really pleased to have come to an agreement with the Club for my final season. I’ve made no secret of my desire to finish my playing career as a one-club man and I’m looking forward to pulling on the Cherry and White jersey once again this season.

“This won’t be a year-long lap of honour for me, as there’s an extremely strong and competitive Super League season on the horizon that we have to prepare for. My focus in solely on helping contribute to the team in 2020.”

Catch Sean in his final games at the DW Stadium next season with a 2020 Season Ticket. Early Bird prices are now available. For more information, click HERE.

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