Emergence of young ones a plus for Wigan

Adrian Lam says the young players he has helped bring through at Wigan can provide the nucleus of a successful squad in the future.

The 51-year-old Papuan has departed the DW Stadium after three years in charge, having guided the Warriors to last season’s League Leaders’ Shield but been unable to emulate predecessor Shaun Wane by landing the Super League title.

Star players Jackson Hastings and Oliver Gildart are also leaving, both for West Tigers, with props Kaide Ellis (from St George Illawarra Dragons) and Patrick Mago (South Sydney Rabbitohs) and London Broncos winger Abbas Miski arriving.

“It’s after my time and Jackson Hastings’ time, but the club will be great, with the young players coming through,” said Lam, who could be succeeded by assistant Matty Peet, with England coach Shaun Wane returning to the club in a part-time capacity in a new-look coaching set-up.

Having finished fourth, Wigan were eliminated from the play-offs at the first hurdle, losing 8-0 at home to Leeds.

And fullback Zak Hardaker echoed Lam as he explained: “Initially it was quite devastating, but we’ve had some time to reflect now and it’s time to move on.

“We’ve got to look at the positives, which for me is that for Wigan Warriors as a club and a team is all those young heads coming through is one of the biggest positives of the year.

“I was out for two and a half months with a neck injury, so I got to see the likes of Harry Smith stepping up and Kai Pearce-Paul coming in looking like he’s been playing Super League for a number of years.

“James McDonnell also played, so we had a number of young lads getting their chance.

“From the sideline looking in, all those young lads are full of energy, even after a loss.

“It’s nice to see that they’ve had an opportunity. When you’re not feeling so good, it’s nice to have that youthful positivity about the place and we’ve had that in abundance this year.”

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