Wigan Warriors head coach Adrian Lam was delighted that Dom Manfredi managed to get through the full eighty minutes on his long-awaited return from injury.
Manfredi, who scored two tries in Wigan’s Grand Final win in 2018, has been out of action since picking up a serious knee injury against Castleford Tigers back in July.
The 26-year-old has had a tough time with injuries with three serious knee problems in the past four years, but he marked his return on Sunday with a try as Wigan beat Hull FC 26-12.
“We just sung in the dressing room for him,” said Lam.
“He’s respected highly by his peers, like no other player at the club I have noticed.
“They love him. We wanted to pick him last week, but he wasn’t quite mentally right in himself. He wanted to play a reserve game, which we allowed him to do.
“I think that will do his confidence the world of good. His carries are some of the strongest, not only in Super League but in the world. It’s only going to be beneficial for us.
“One thing this club has got is a load of great outside backs and wingers. We had to let Tom Davies go to Catalans, but with Dom coming back now that puts a fair bit of pressure on the two wingers to play well. I thought both wingers played well.”
Lam admitted he didn’t know a lot about Manfredi when he first arrived at the club, but he soon realised what a talent he was.
“I knew he was good,” Lam added.
“I remember last year when we played Salford and it was his first game. He carried the ball down the right-hand side, I didn’t have a real good view of it. I just remember whoever carried the ball was aggressive, hard and tough and punched through the line.
“I said to the assistant coach, ‘who the hell was that’ and they said Dom Manfredi. So, it was from that moment on that I sort of opened my eyes up to him. Sometimes the best indication of a player is through their peers. They love him here, he’s had his ups and downs but he’s also had some great highs and we are looking forward to him helping us develop as a team.”
Lam revealed that George Burgess is very close to returning from the niggling injury that saw him limp off in the first half against Warrington Wolves.
“George (Burgess) is really close to returning. It will be next week or the week after. We just have to monitor him and ensure he gets a full week of training and then he will fit into that group somewhere.”