Wigan captain Sean O’Loughlin led the tributes to popular coach Shaun Wane and revealed the part played by his own predecessor and brother-in-law Andy Farrell in the Warriors’ Tetley’s Challenge Cup triumph.
O’Loughlin helped his side to a 16-0 win over Hull in a one-sided final to lift the trophy for a second time in three years as Wigan extended their own competition record to 19 wins in all.
Farrell, who is married to O’Loughlin’s sister, captained the Warriors to just one final triumph - against St Helens at Murrayfield in 2002 - but helped inspire them to their latest victory by presenting the shirts to players at their London hotel.
“He spoke very well,” O’Loughlin said. “The lads were ready to play straight after the presentation.”
Wigan’s victory, in the lowest scoring final for 33 years at a rain-soaked Wembley, was the first for Wane, who was assistant to Australian Michael Maguire when they beat Leeds two years ago.
The victory immediately earned the Wigan-born Wane a second contract extension in a week, which will keep him at the DW Stadium at least until the end of 2015, firmly putting an end to the rumours over a move to the NRL.
That news delighted O’Loughlin and his team-mates, many of whom came through the Wigan academy under the fervently patriotic Wane.
“All the boys have a good relationship with Waney,” O’Loughlin said.