Before his final rugby league game, Wigan legend Sean O’Loughlin catches up with brother-in-law Andy Farrell, nephew Owen Farrell and former teammate Terry O’Connor as he looks back on his career.
The former English skipper, who turned 38 on Tuesday, will face St. Helens his 459th birthday at the KCOM Stadium. and have last appearance for his hometown club.
O’Loughlin is hoping to get off at a climax with a fifth Super League ring from his eighth Grand Final appearance, and Andy Farrell says it’s been an incredible journey for the boy he used to babysat.
« When I first met Sean, he was seven years old, I was 14 years old and his sister and I were babysitting him all the time – rugby wasn’t even on the agenda then, » said the Irish coach.
« But 19 years at the helm with a club like Wigan – you dream of playing for your home club; you also dream of being a one-club man. With a club like Wigan deeply rooted in their rugby league history, it is a dream to play for this club but to do so for 19 years in the professional era is certainly unprecedented.
« There’s no better way for Sean to build his career in a grand final against Wigan’s arch-rivals St. End Helens. «
Growing up watching his father and uncle play for the warriors, Owen believes it not only helped him stay on the ground, but also helped him become the player he was Today is.
« It was normal – I didn’t know anything else, obviously the first few games I watched my dad play and then Sean came through were just normal.
« The greatest thing was to be around and see it firsthand. Half of it isn’t even conscious – it only takes it in as you grow up. See how people prepare and how hard people work.
« I was lucky enough to be on the Wigan team my dad and Sean played on when I was growing up and I would have learned more from it without even knowing it. « .
O’Loughlin led his team on the last weekend in January before 15. 000 spectators at DW Stadium, but his performance for his farewell game is witnessed by a handful of officials and the media at KCOM Stadium in Hull. but he will get a lot of support from his family.
Owen will travel to Llanelli for his Autumn Nations Cup clash against Wales, but expects to be there before kick-off and the whole English team to get involved.
While Andy, who is preparing Ireland for Sunday’s clash against Georgia, says there are some advantages to being boss: « Now I’m the coach, I’m in charge of the schedule so we’ll tailor our training accordingly. « . We would have let our captains go and had the afternoon off – all the Irish boys watch it, they love it. «
« She is terrible. She yells and yells « Get away from him, get away from him » – he’s still her little brother. She will be just as nervous as anyone else.
« It’s worse for the family – everyone keeps asking me to see Owen – when you train or how we do professional sports, it’s work. But your loved ones desperately want you to do well, even more so than the team. «
Leadership is rooted in the family – Andy was the club and country captain for over eight years while Owen is the England captain. However, both agree that Sean O’Loughlin wouldn’t be much to say if they were in the Wigan locker room on Friday.
« I mean, we don’t really have to tell him anything – he’s been at the top for 19 years and knows how to deal with these opportunities, » said Andy.
« We all know that you only have to be yourself to reach the expected levels. «
© 2020 Sky UK
Sean O’Loughlin, Andy Farrell, Wigan Warriors, Super League
World News – UK – Sean O’Loughlin: Andy and Owen Farrell pay tribute to the Wigan legend as he prepares Endgame
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