Adrian Lam weighs in on John Asiata’s ‘pretty sudden’ move to Hull FC

Ben Olawumi
Adrian Lam, John Asiata

Leigh Leopards head coach Adrian Lam (main image) & captain John Asiata (circle)

Leigh Leopards head coach Adrian Lam has revealed that he and those connected to the club discovered captain John Asiata’s move away at the same time as everyone else, when Hull FC decided to announce his signing.

The Leopards skipper, whose contract expires at the end of the current season, will join Hull on a three-year deal from 2025, as announced by the Airlie Birds on Friday.

There was no announcement on Leigh’s end, prompting questions over whether everyone was in the loop regarding the move.

Adrian Lam weighs in on John Asiata’s ‘pretty sudden’ move to Hull FC

Ahead of their draw with Castleford Tigers on Saturday evening, Leopards owner Derek Beaumont discussed the situation in the club’s hospitality suite.

The video of that speech released by Leigh on social media ahead of the game was the first time they had acknowledged Asiata’s departure publicly.

And Lam post-match confirmed what most had assumed – Hull decided to make the announcement on their end without any communication to Leigh, as is the norm in the world of sport.

Lam told LoveRugbyLeague: “It was announced through the media, that’s how everyone found out about it, it was pretty sudden.

“It’s a business that we run here, I don’t want to talk too much about John but I will say that I love John, the club loves him, the fans love him, he loves the club, he loves everything about this place.

“What he’s given to this club in his time here has been nothing but sensational –  I think the decision he’s made is a financial decision based around what’s best for him and his family moving forwards, and we pat him on the back.

“We don’t dwell about it, it is what it is. He’s our captain and we’re going to lose him, but that could make us better as well.

“John’s a big part of this club and what he’s brought to us last year by being the captain that lifted the Challenge Cup, we’ll remember forever. There’s no harsh feelings there whatsoever towards him.”

Leigh Leopards boss confirms fresh injury blow to outgoing skipper Asiata

Former Samoa & Tonga international Asiata has managed just three appearances for Leigh so far this year, pulling up in the early stages of their second game of the season against St Helens and only returning last week in Round 9 against Catalans Dragons.

Boss Lam had suggested earlier in the week that the 20-minute stint his captain had against the Dragons had seen him pick up some issues, and that rung true, with the 31-year-old not amongst their matchday squad on Saturday evening.

In his pre-match hospitality talk, owner Beaumont had clarified that was injury-related, and Lam confirmed that after the game, with Asiata set for another rather lengthy absence.

Lam said: “John’s pulled out of the game today because he’s had a strain to his hamstring, so he’ll be four to six weeks with that, so that’s not ideal for us.

“He’ll rehab here, get ready and when he’s ready to come back, he’ll come back and captain the team.”