Wigan Warriors’ captain Sean O’Loughlin relishing return for bruising Bradford Bulls clash

By Thomas McCooey

Wigan Warriors captain Sean O’Loughlin is expecting a bruising encounter against Bradford Bulls at The Provident Stadium, Odsal, when he returns from injury on Sunday.

Wigan are looking to stay top of Super League but play seven of their next eight Super League matches away from home, starting with the high-flying Bulls.

O’Loughlin missed Wigan’s record 84-6 win at Hull Kingston Rovers on Easter Monday and last week’s 44-24 defeat of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, leaving the loose forward desperate to return.

“It’ll be a tough test,” he said. “Bradford have a few threats. They have a solid forward pack and some good size about them.

“They carry the ball very strongly so it will be tough for our pack to try and dominate them. They also have the likes of Jarrod Sammut who is on form with what he does with the ball.

“A lot of what Bradford do in attack comes from him so he’s one of the key players to keep an eye on in attack.”

Wigan have won their last four games but the compressed schedule has left the conditioning staff with a lot to do according to O’Loughlin.

“It’ll be good have a few bodies back for the Bradford game,” he said.

“The squad is looking in better shape but there are still some tired lads coming off the back of a tough Easter.

“Training probably won’t be too intense this week in the amount of physical work we do but we’ll be focusing on our attitude for the game and hopefully get the win.

“The coaching and conditioning staff have to get a balance of getting some good quality work in but also freshening players up.”

O’Loughlin will also reclaim the Wigan captaincy from Sam Tomkins who has acted as stand in for the past week.

He added: “I’m feeling good at the minute and want to get a week’s training under my belt. As long as that goes well I should be fine for Sunday.”

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