Adrian Lam turned down chance to coach Papua New Guinea at World Cup

Adrian Lam

Adrian Lam has revealed that he turned down the chance to coach Papua New Guinea at this year’s World Cup, insisting that he is happy in his role with Australia.

The Leigh Centurions boss revealed exclusively to Love Rugby League that he knocked back the chance to turn coach his native Papua New Guinea in a World Cup for a third time.

Lam insisted that he is happy in his current role as assistant coach to Mal Meninga for Australia, a position which he has been in since 2016.

Papua New Guinea last week announced the head coaching appointment of Stanley Tepin, who will lead the Kumuls at this autumn’s World Cup.

Speaking to Love Rugby League, Lam said: “I am very close with the PNG board and everyone up there.

“They enquired about me. They rang me up to see if I was interested but I’m part of the Kangaroos as everyone knows, so that is my commitment for this World Cup.

“The appointment of Stanley Tepin… He has done his hard yards as a coach in the local domestic competition in Papua New Guinea. He has been under Michael Marum as head coach. Michael Marum was under me so they’ve done it in turn really. Coaches that have been in the system have been rewarded for that.

“I think it is a good appointment, we’ll support that. Hopefully he can get the support around him and be successful in the World Cup.”

Like father, like sons

Lachlan Lam Papua New Guinea PA
Lachlan Lam, son of Adrian Lam, in action for Papua New Guinea at 2017 World Cup

Lam could have coached his sons Lachlan and Bailey if he took the PNG head coaching job.

Sydney Roosters half-back Lachlan and South Sydney Rabbitohs youngster Bailey are likely to be included in the Kumuls World Cup squad.

Lam hinted at there being a chance to create the special memories at the next World Cup in 2025, which is held in France.

Lam added: “Lachlan will be be a part of their squad. I’ve also got a young one thats at Souths as well that could be included in that squad as well. He has been going pretty good.

“I’ve been involved in every World Cup since 1995 so I think this is my sixth one now. I have played for Papua New Guinea and coached Papua New Guinea.

“I’m on this current journey with the Kangaroos and I’m loving every minute of it and wouldn’t change it. But I think one day that might happen (coaching his sons for PNG); maybe the next World Cup that could happen with those boys.”

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About Drew Darbyshire 8040 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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