November 15, 2019 2:26:51 PM
Wigan captain Sean O’Loughlin has signed a new 12-month contract and says it will be his last.
The 36-year-old loose forward, who has led the Warriors to four Super League titles and two Challenge Cups in his 13 years as skipper, will now prepare for his 19th season with his hometown club before hanging up his boots.
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 is solely on helping contribute to the team in 2020.”
O’Loughlin was due to lead Great Britain on their current tour to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea but withdrew after an injury-hit domestic season and, out of the running for the 2021 World Cup, looks to have made his final international appearance.
He played his 450th match for Wigan in September and sits seventh on the club’s all-time list of appearance makers.
Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski said: “We have been very fortunate to have Sean O’Loughlin at Wigan Warriors for such a long and successful period of time and it’s brilliant news that he’ll see out his playing days and finish the game as a one-club man.
“Sean has made an enormous contribution in his 18 years at Wigan Warriors.
“On the field, he has been unbelievably consistent in setting a superb example to our younger players and is undoubtedly one of the best players this country has ever produced in rugby league.
“He has the respect and admiration of the very best players and coaches in this sport and among his peers.
“With a young, tenacious group of players, Sean’s leadership, wealth of knowledge and experience will be of great value on and off the field, and he still is one of the finest ball-playing loose forwards operating at this level of the game.
“We’re delighted that we’ve come to an agreement to see Sean go around for one more season.”
O’Loughlin has already been promised a place on Wigan’s coaching staff when he retires.