Wigan skipper O'Loughlin in with slim chance of Grand Final return

By Christopher Devine 3 October 2016
Wigan skipper O'Loughlin in with slim chance of Grand Final return

Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane has refused to completely rule out the prospect of captain Sean O'Loughlin returning from injury ahead of schedule to face Warrington Wolves in Saturday's Super League Grand Final.

The hugely influential loose forward had been anticipated to miss the season finale due to a calf injury.

However, speaking at the pre-match news conference at Old Trafford on Monday, Wane said there remained an outside possibility of O'Loughlin recovering to face Tony Smith's side.

"There's a remote chance on Lockers," said Wane. 

"He's very doubtful but I'll have a look at him this week. I'm not going to leave it until the last minute. If I'm not happy, then he'll be out.

"He's champing at the bit, he wants to play. But he knows his body - he'll tell me whether he’s good or not. He will 100 per cent only say he’s fit if he is."

Winners against Warrington in the 2013 Grand Final, Wigan have since finished as runners-up in two successive seasons and Wane cannot bear the thought of suffering a third straight loss at Old Trafford.

"It's our fourth time here. We've only got one ring and there's only one way to go out of here and that's with the cup on the front seat of your coach. It's a big one for us," he told Sky Sports News.

Wolves coach Tony Smith is hopeful of welcoming back playmaker Chris Sandow, who has been absent since suffering a knee injury in the Challenge Cup final defeat to Hull FC.

"He's got a fitness test in the next day or so. He's looking alright," Smith told Sky Sports News.

"If he's right, it will be hard to say no to him, but he's got to be right. We'll make sure he gets through training in the next couple of days and we'll make a decision then."

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