Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane was preparing his luggage for a trip to the airport en route to Florida when he learned he had been voted at the Super League Coach of the Year in the League Express Readers’ Poll.
“Nice one,” conceded Wane, when told of the vote, which saw the Wigan boss pick up 44 per cent of the vote ahead of Huddersfield’s Paul Anderson (33 per cent).
“I have lots of respect for the publication, I buy it myself,” he added.
“To get that sort of award from smart Rugby League people is very pleasing for us.”
Wigan were also named club of the year, with 52 per cent of the vote, while skipper Sean O’Loughlin was named as captain of the year, gaining 28 per cent of the vote in a tight race with Danny Brough and Kevin Sinfield.
“It’s nice to be recognised by not just the people of Wigan and it shows what an honest sport we are involved in,” added Wane, who reports that training is going well as the club jetted off to Florida on Saturday.
“We are well into our pre-season,” he said.
“Everything has been spot on and we are further on than where we were at this stage last year. That’s credit to the players who have come in and buckled down to some really hard work.
“And going to America, and the warm weather, means that we will be out on the field all the time.
“Our training will be very tight and very intense. Our staff are going to visit Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but we are not doing anything else.”
Wane has confirmed that both Epalahame Lauaki and Andy Powell, who are both expected to leave the club soon, have not flown to Florida, while
Australian stand-off Blake Green has travelled directly from Australia.
Meanwhile Wigan’s Academy players are heading to the south of France for a three-team training tournament with the Catalans and Leeds Rhinos.
“We’ll keep in touch with our Head of Youth John Winder to make sure that they act and play like first-teamers,” added Wane.
“All the young kids are excited about the trip. It’s also good for the Catalans that two of our most famous clubs want to go there and the players will get some quality work done. It’s a win/win for Rugby League.