Wigan Warriors head coach Adrian Lam insists new signing George Burgess will be fit for the opening game of the Betfred Super League season against Warrington Wolves.
Burgess, who joined the Warriors from NRL side South Sydney Rabbitohs, was expected to feature in Liam Farrell’s Testimonial game against Leeds Rhinos on Sunday.
He was withdrawn on the day of the game after failing to recover from a hip knock he picked up in training, but Lam insists it isn’t a long-term problem.
“He should be fine for round one,” said Lam. “That’s still ongoing.
“He hurt his hip in training the other week. Rather than risk him in this game, we just want to make sure he gets through this process to be fully fit for round one.”
Wigan picked up a couple of injuries during the 22-10 defeat at the hands of the Rhinos. Farrell was taken off as a precaution after a crusher tackle, while Tony Clubb was twice in the wars.
“Clubby got a HIA at the start of the game,” added Lam.
“It was just a small knock, he got cleared very quickly and the second time he was replaced he had to have three or four stitches in his lip. He’s okay; he’s pretty good.”
Lam admitted that the result was not his main focus and he was pleased that he managed to give a lot of his players a run out.
“I have told the players not to get to emotionally caught up with the score. It was our first hit out and it was their third. For thirty of the first forty minutes we were outstanding. I was really happy about that. The second forty was disappointing, but that is Rugby League. It just reminds us that we need to be focused for the whole time.
“This process for us as coaches is about getting the right seventeen for Warrington in round one. We made seven changes at half-time, and the minute you do that you are asking for trouble. But today wasn’t about the end result, it would have been nice but for me it was about making sure we gave everyone an opportunity against a good side to claim a spot in the seventeen.”