Lam feels for his young players

Adrian Lam admits he feels for Wigan’s young players, given the lack of Academy competition to continue their development this season.

But he has promised they will get opportunities to impress for the first-team earlier than expected instead.

Wigan are likely to suffer more than most clubs due to this year’s Academy and reserve competitions not going ahead, meaning a lack of serious game-time for his younger players and the next crop of first-team superstars at the Warriors.

But Lam has promised that with such a congested schedule for the first team between now and November, he will not be afraid to use his whole playing roster.

“With the midweek games and the Challenge Cup, there are going to be weeks where you’re going to have to use 32 or even 35 players and we’re prepared to do that,” he said.

“Pretty much our entire squad will get some sort of opportunity leading into those weeks where you’ve got the Challenge Cup and the play-offs.”

Lam said that an extended break for his squad will have given his younger players a chance to develop further though, adding: “I think that will have been great for our young players. It’s given them an opportunity to keep growing, get stronger and fitter and it should put them in a better position.”

On the lack of Academy rugby this season, Lam said he had sympathy for those affected.

“It’s a tough one, and very hard for the players who haven’t played, as we want to give them an opportunity,” he said.

“You know they’re going to be a bit off the pace with regards to game-time so we’ve put a programme in place and they’re literally training harder than they normally would have, so that gives them an opportunity in itself.

“It’s always good to get younger players playing. That will happen this year.”

Lam also said that Ben Flower’s future is uncertain after the prop’s future employers, Toronto, are still unclear about which division they will be playing in.

Flower is widely thought to have signed a contract with the Wolfpack for 2021, and Lam said: “Ben’s always been considered highly here. He signed a contract for two or three years (with Toronto) and there’s still talk that Toronto are going to be in the competition.

“We need clarification from the RFL on the ruling sooner than later.”

The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.