Wigan coach Adrian Lam is currently part way through a schedule of three games in ten days that started with the clash against Hull FC last Thursday, continues with the game against St Helens on Tuesday, and will be completed with Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final tie against Leeds Rhinos at St Helens.
As indicated elsewhere in this edition of League Express, Lam has responded to the glut of fixtures by selecting a squad to face St Helens with six players who have yet to make their debuts for the Warriors.
Some fans may think that the traditional Wigan-Saints derby will therefore be devalued, but Lam is looking farther ahead.
“When you’ve got games close together like this continuously, it’s not so much now that teams will feel the effect, it will be down the track in three or four weeks,” he explains.
“You’ll see numbers start to build up in terms of injuries, given the experience I have had in the past.
“We’ve just got to tick all the boxes in our preparation and make sure we’re looking after all the soft-tissue injuries.
“We can’t even have massages at training, so all that recovery stuff is under the microscope as well.
“That’s all part of the recovery in preparation for the next game, so it’s tough at the moment.”
For Lam, giving players a break on the sidelines will be the key to getting through it.
“You’ve got to rest players regardless,” he argues.
“We’re continuously re-assessing our schedule and plans. Everyone’s got to do it because everyone’s in the same boat.”
The hectic fixture list recently coaxed Lam into the transfer market, with Toronto forward Brad Singleton joining the Warriors on a three-year deal. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Cumbrian will don the famous cherry-and-white in 2020 though, according to the Wigan coach.
“Brad is training with us because we are strengthening the squad before the cut-off date.
“It was an opportunity to bring a player in with Covid in mind and the big games that we’ve got in the next six weeks, so it’s a win-win for us.
“Brad will take two or three weeks training to get used to our style and then we will make a decision on whether he will play. It’s not guaranteed he will play this year.”