Sean O'Loughlin: Wigan miss England captain, says Tony Smith

Sean O'Loughlin
Sean O'Loughlin was named England captain after Kevin Sinfield's retirement

England captain Sean O'Loughlin's absence has been a factor in Wigan's mixed Super League form this season, says Warrington head coach Tony Smith.

O'Loughlin has played just twice this term before a knee injury, and is likely to be absent for another month.

Last season's Grand Finalists are seventh, with two wins from six games.

"For me he has a bigger influence in any team of any player over the last few years, not just this year," Smith told the BBC's Super League Show.

"He's a big loss for any team, he's a super player."

The Warriors captain, 32, scored eight tries in 23 appearances for Wigan in 2014, taking him to a total of 320 appearances for his hometown club.

His experience has been missed in a side that named just one player beyond the age of 30 - Matty Bowen - in Friday's 26-12 defeat by Leeds at Headingley.

"They certainly miss him and that's their challenge to overcome as you're not going to have all your best players each and every round - you've got to cope and manage that," Smith added.

"They'll find a way, they've got some good players in their midst and they're just going through the patchiness we keep talking about.

"They'll be hard to beat at their place and you know you're in for a tough match when they come to yours."

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