Adrian Lam explains why Super League 2024 feels like being back in the Championship as he gives verdict on World Club Challenge break

LEIGH LEOPARDS head coach Adrian Lam has explained why the 2024 Super League season feels like being back in the Championship.

Leigh were promoted from the second tier at the end of the 2022 season having swept aside all challengers.

However, they had to do so after having just seven players at the beginning of that year following Super League relegation in 2021.

Now Lam has likened that experience with his current one, referencing a Leigh squad that has faced considerable changes in the off-season as well as adversity at the start of the season.

“It’s been a really weird start. We are nearly into round three of the new season and we have only played one game with three players suspended and Edwin Ipape out after seven minutes,” Lam said.

“It’s difficult to name a 17 when those three players may not play but what we do know is we have a reserve grade (fixture at Rochdale) this week and those players outside the 17 need to play.

“We have improved the number of players in the squad, I need to see all of them play. It feels like two years ago when we were back in the Championship with all the new faces.

“I’m not going to judge our season within the first quarter of it, I know it takes time to build combinations.”

The Leopards themselves have played just one game so far in 2024, going down 16-8 to Huddersfield Giants in Round One before having to take a week off due to Wigan Warriors’ commitment to the World Club Challenge.

And Lam has revealed it hasn’t been “ideal”.

“It’s not ideal, if you lose in Round One you want to play again straightaway. We have had to endure another week of the pain from Round One which was tough to watch,” Lam said.

“We are up and running again, the players had the weekend off to get them in the right mindset for this week.

“It’s a really tough one because you have your whole pre-season to prepare for that first game. You lose that first game and then you don’t have a chance to fix it straightaway.

“Two weeks is a long time to forget what you did wrong. We have tried to manage the players through that time and keep the fun in training and make sure the players are focused.”

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