Leigh Leopards suffer another long-term injury blow to key man

THE blows keep on coming for Leigh, who have lost both Gareth O’Brien and Robbie Mulhern for at least the next six weeks with torn calves.

England prop Mulhern missed their recent Super League defeat to Wigan with the issue and an extended spell on the sidelines has now been confirmed.

And that has been compounded by O’Brien suffering the same injury, as revealed by Leopards head coach Adrian Lam after the fullback missed their Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat at Hull KR on Saturday.

“He’s torn his calf; he’s going to be out for a long period of time. Mulhern is the same,” said Lam, who is also currently without first-choice players John Asiata, Edwin Ipape and Tom Briscoe.

“It’s not getting better. But we got Tom Amone back today, and he played really well considering he hasn’t played for a month. 

“I thought he was inspirational, the best player on the field. He played well but all week he’s lifted the team. That’s what you miss. 

“It was good to have Tom back and, moving forward, there’s not much next week coming back but the week after there may be one or two.”

Leigh head to Warrington this Saturday – after which they host Catalans on Friday, April 26 – looking for only a second win of a challenging Super League start.

They have lost five games out of six but Lam saw encouraging signs from his team as the defence of their Challenge Cup title came to an end in East Yorkshire.

“I thought the week’s preparation was unbelievable,” added the coach, who last week secured Brad Dwyer on a permanent deal from Warrington following his loan spell.

“We had a simple game plan that we nailed in those first 40 minutes. That’s probably the best rugby of the year that we’ve played. 

“The second half was disappointing and frustrating because we didn’t execute our game plan, and we fell on our own sword, really, the way that we made errors, and discipline through penalties and offside. That hurts you in the end.

“Today and every other game this season, they’ve been close in parts to being really good and in other parts they’ve been poor. 

“We’ve lacked some consistency but that comes with changing players and positions all the time. It’s hard to change the team every week. We haven’t had the same team for two games in a row this year. 

“But I’m happy with where we are as a group, even though we’re not getting the results we deserve or we want. 

“The group is working really hard and I can see changes and improvement every week. At the moment that’s all we can do.”