Adrian Lam confident of Leigh retaining Papua New Guinea star despite NRL aspirations

Drew Darbyshire
Adrian Lam Leigh Leopards SWpix

Photo: Olly Hassell/SWpix

Leigh coach Adrian Lam says he is confident of keeping hold of star man Lachlan Lam beyond this season, with the latter taking Super League by storm.

Adrian brought his son Lachlan over to Leigh midway through last season, with the Papua New Guinea international playing a key role in Leigh’s promotion from the Championship.

Adrian says he feels that Lachlan is currently in career best form, with the duo scooping the respective Coach of the Month and Player of the Month awards in Super League in May.

And on Sunday, Lachlan produced a man of the match display to inspire the Leopards to a 30-4 win over Wakefield at Magic Weekend.

Speaking after the game, Adrian said: “When we lost Ben (Reynolds, red card) today, the message went out to Lachlan that he needed to take more control of that and I thought he was outstanding with that.

“He’s experienced now but he’s stepped up now with his level of maturity and leadership; and the way he speaks to the team now, that’s been another big improvement for him this year.

“We got him here just before the closing date of the recruitment for Leigh last year. I know he was frustrated playing at the Roosters, he was 18th man every week of the year and hadn’t played much game time so I’m glad I convinced him to come and get his love and fun back into his game.

“That’s the key for most players at the professional level. We brought 14 new players to the club this year and I thought all those players lost the love and fun side of rugby league whilst they’ve been away but coming to us, including him, have been rejuvenated by that edge.

“And when they are in that position of enjoying themselves, that’s when you get the best out of every player.”

Adrian Lam says Leigh hopeful of securing new deal for Lachlan Lam

Lam has been a star man this season for Leigh, who are currently fourth in the Super League table and in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

He is out of contract at the end of the season, and whilst he has ambitions to go back to the NRL one day, Leigh are confident he will remain with the Leopards beyond this season to help them continue their upward trajectory.

Adrian said: “He’s contracted for the rest of the year and he’s up for renewal.

“We’ve been down a long path over the last four weeks to finalise that, we’re hoping it won’t be too far away.

“He does want to play back in the NRL at some stage, I think that’s fine and I’ve supported that decision from the day he got here. I think any NRL club that took him now would be advantaged by that.

“I wouldn’t mind him for another year or two, so let’s try to convince him of that before he heads back to the NRL.”

READ NEXT: ‘One of the first players I signed’ – Adrian Lam praises in-form Leigh back