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Wigan coach Shaun Wane hopes Sean O'Loughlin will be fit for final

Last Updated: 30/09/13 11:25pm

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Sean O'Loughlin: Has played only one of last 11 matches for the Warriors

Sean O'Loughlin: Has played only one of last 11 matches for the Warriors

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Wigan coach Shaun Wane is optimistic that Sean O'Loughlin will be fit for Saturday's Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.

The loose forward has missed 10 of the last 11 matches due to knee and Achilles injuries, and he has been wearing a surgical boot for a month.

"We're expecting Sean to play and I'm sure they're expecting Waterhouse to be there as well."
Tony Smith

O'Loughlin demonstrated his importance to the Warriors when he returned to lead the side to Challenge Cup glory against Hull at Wembley last month, and Wane will give his captain every chance to feature at Old Trafford.

"We'll check on him," Wane said. "He's having another scan and we'll run him on Tuesday and see how he is.

"I'd like to know on Tuesday if I could but, if he needs another day, then so be it. If we can get him on the field, then we will."

Warrington coach Tony Smith is well aware of how influential O'Loughlin is for the Warriors, while he also hopes his powerful second-rower Trent Waterhouse will pass a fitness test this week.

"I think it will be the same for both those two boys," said Smith. "They are both experienced and they will do whatever they can to get on the park.

"We're expecting Sean to play and I'm sure they're expecting Waterhouse to be there as well."

Honour

Despite missing most of the second half of the season, O'Loughlin was shortlisted for the Man of Steel award, though he lost out to Huddersfield's Danny Brough for the honour.

Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins, who has been standing in as captain in O'Loughlin's absence, said: "I'd love Lockers to be playing. He's our best player and you always want your best players to be playing in a final.

"I'd be disappointed if he doesn't make it. It would mean that I'd lead the team out but I'd much rather have Lockers playing."

Waterhouse missed last week's semi-final win over Huddersfield with a knee injury, and Smith will face a selection dilemma over who to leave out if the second-rower returns at Old Trafford.

"To go and tell some boys who have busted their socks off all year that they've missed out is one of the hardest parts of the job that some people probably don't understand," he said.

"But it's got to be done."

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