Short break concerns O'Loughlin
Wigan Warriors captain Sean O'Loughlin has revealed that the short turnaround following the recent World Cup has posed a significant challenge to senior players preparing for the upcoming Super League campaign.
O'Loughlin played a prominent role for England in last year's tournament, and was given extra time off to recover by his club.
But the loose forward is now back with the Warriors, 5.00 to win the Grand Final this year and 1213.00 to triumph in the Challenge Cup, and working hard to make up for lost time.
"It's not that the clubs don't want to give you more time off - but any longer, and players would be coming back in two weeks before the start of the season, so it's a difficult balance to strike for many clubs and players," he explained.
"From the World Cup ending to the first game of Super League, it's not a long time, and it's not much of a break for the international players. But usually this isn't the case; with the other international tournaments, there's more space in between."
Now aged 35, O'Loughlin looks set to finish his career as a one-club man, after having previously been linked with moves away.
But he admits that the intense calendar of club and international fixtures is becoming a growing challenge.
"Individually, there will be a few players who will feel a little bit behind. But game-wise, you'll probably not see an impact," he added.
"But it's not much time, coming back in January and only having four weeks of a pre-season."
Wigan return to Super League action on Friday 2nd February, when they travel to face Salford Red Devils. The Warriors are 1.83 to win the match with a 10-point handicap.
View all Rugby League betting