The highly respected loose-forward led his home-town club to victory over Warrington in last season’s Super League Grand Final.
That has pitted Shaun Wane’s men against Australian champions Cronulla Sharks at the DW Stadium, where the winners can call themselves the best club side in the world.
O’Loughlin, 34, has been a mainstay of the Wigan team since making his debut in 2002 but is seen as a potential future successor to Wane and is working his way up the coaching ladder.
He said: “I have been involved with coaching Wigan’s scholars and academy players for the past four years during evenings and weekends. It has been great because when I started doing it, they were young kids and now some of them are in the first team and I am playing alongside them.
Sean O'Loughlin is unsure yet whether he will coach Wigan in the future
I’m hoping to be a part of the coaching set-up when I retire
“To see that progression is fantastic and I definitely feel I can give players an insight into the game. But whether that actually involves coaching Wigan further down the line, I don’t know.
“It’s definitely something I’d like to try out and I’m hoping to be a part of the coaching set-up when I retire – that was the plan a few years back.
“You start your rugby career as a young lad and you develop into a senior player, so it’s exactly the same as a coach. I might have knowledge of rugby but I’ve got to learn how to coach and be good at that side of things as well.”
O’Loughlin is contracted to Wigan until the end of this season as a player and looks certain to join the coaching staff in a formal capacity when he retires.
England Rugby's 14-game winning streak
Fri, January 6, 2017
Express Sport recaps England Rugby's unbeaten 2016
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England won every single match they played throughout 2016, and are currently on a 14-game winning run dating back to October 2015
Yet he said: “As my contract stands, this is my last year, but I’d like to play for another season.
“That’s a conversation I will have with Waney and Kris Radlinski during the year, but I feel in good nick and I’m still playing well. I wouldn’t like to hang up the boots too early but I will know when my body has had enough.”
O’Loughlin’s sister is married to Wigan legend Andy Farrell, who progressed from playing to coaching with great success.
“We talk about rugby now and then and I’m always interested to see how they do things in union,” said O’Loughlin. “Andy’s transition from playing to coaching has been fantastic. He’s going to be involved with the Lions this year, so he’s doing all right for himself.”
O’Loughlin played no part in England’s dismal Four Nations campaign last autumn so as to allow him to recover from injuries that had dogged him during 2016.
Now fully fit, he helped the Warriors to victory in their Super League opener at Salford last Saturday and has fixed his sights on beating Cronulla.
Wigan are aiming for a record fourth World Club Challenge title – but the last of those wins was 23 years ago.
More than 20,000 tickets have been sold for tomorrow’s game and O’Loughlin added: “We’re desperate to win the trophy and do Wigan, the Super League and the British game proud.”