Adrian Lam “disappointed” with Mitch Clark outcome

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Adrian Lam is disappointed Castleford declined Wigan’s approaches to sign Mitch Clark with immediate effect.

The New Zealander will join the Warriors on a three-year contract from 2020.

Wigan were hoping to sign Clark with immediate effect this year after being low on forwards as well as Clark finding chances limited at the Tigers.

However, Castleford rejected Wigan’s offer to sign Clark and the prop has joined Championship side Leigh until the end of the season.

Speaking after their 46-16 win over Wakefield on Thursday, Lam said: “I can understand their situation, we have been talking to Castleford over the last couple of weeks so it is disappointing that we couldn’t come to an agreement but that’s the path they wanted to go down.

“We have been asking about him about him every week for the last six weeks but the answer was ‘no, no, no, no, no’ until today. They’ve made their decision but at least he’s playing rugby. He needs to be playing somewhere so it’s a bit of a weird one for us but that’s how we roll.

“They were in control of the outcome, we are okay with their decision and we’ll move on. We’ll just keep picking the young ones.

“We picked an 18-year-old [Ethan Havard] today, so we are short in that position but we will have Tony Clubb, Ben Flower, Joe Greenwood and Sean O’Loughlin to come back for the next game so we might be okay [without signing anyone else].”

Bulgaria-born prop Ethan Havard made his debut in their win over Wakefield.

Lam was impressed with the 18-year-old along with young forward pair Ollie Partington and Morgan Smithies.

He added: “Ethan was excellent. I watched Ethan in the England Academy team last year against the Australian Schoolboys and I thought he was one of the best players on the field.

“I wanted to see him at some stage this year, definitely. He played about 23 minutes and you can see he has got the right size. Players like him are hard to find.

“I’m really proud of Ollie and Smithies. As soon as Smithies played, it was like ‘we’ve got someone special here’ while Ollie has been a work in progress.

“From where Ollie has been to where he is today is an unbelievable improvement. He’s popular in the group but he had a lot of deficiencies in attention to detail in both attack and defence so that’s why he has not played a lot of games but picking him every week has been a shining light for the club and for him.”

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