Leigh Leopards ace Lachlan Lam admitted he ‘knew nothing at all’ about the town 18 months ago, and thought dad Adrian was joking when he asked him to come and play for the club, but says he now ‘loves the place’.
Lam junior joined Leigh – then Centurions – in July last year, with the club still jostling for promotion. Coming off the bench to score a try on debut against Featherstone Rovers at the Summer Bash, the half-back would appear eight more times in 2022, including in a play-off final triumph over Batley Bulldogs.
With 31 NRL appearances to his name for Sydney Roosters, the signing was one of the biggest in Leigh’s history. If you fast forward 18 months or so, he’s now helped them into the Super League play-offs for the first time ever as well as kicking the one-pointer at Wembley to secure the club a first Challenge Cup in 52 years, forever written into the history books.
The Papua New Guinea international also committed his long-term future to the Leopards, penning an extension until the end of 2025 earlier this year. As the now instantly recognisable Leopards gear up for tomorrow night’s trip to Hull KR, the 25-year-old detailed just how much he’s fallen in love with Leyth town, all thanks to dad – and head coach – Adrian.
Lachlan Lam has fallen in love with Leigh, somewhere he never thought he’d end up
Lam junior told Love Rugby League: “We joked about the move for a long time, I thought he was just joking with me when he was asking me to come over. It was a bit of a running joke between us for about six months at that time.
“It started to get to a really real point in time where I worked out he was pretty serious, and I knew I had to get serious if I wanted to come over and try to do something special.
“I didn’t know anything about Leigh at all, I just knew the stuff he had told me. He had nothing but good things to say about the place, but I knew some of my friends had played here in the past, and they probably hadn’t had good experiences.
I just tried to not think about that to be honest, and I’m glad I did because we’re on a pretty cool path, and we’re going into the elimination stages.
“I love this team, this club and this town because of what they’ve done for me, and all I’m focused on is continuing to keep chasing wins for us.”
Lam central at the Dream Team launch as emotional Lachlan reflects on achievements to date
Lachlan spoke to Love Rugby League at Monday’s Dream Team event, named in the ‘best of’ side chosen by Ellery Hanley and his panel after a stunning debut Super League season.
Four other Leopards were chosen too, the club had never even had one man selected before this year. More importantly than that though, Lam junior was chosen in the Dream Team 20 years after his dad’s final selection. Lam senior was named three years running during his own playing days at Wigan Warriors, 2001, 2002 and 2003.
The emotion was clear from the 25-year-old, as he said: “It’s something I didn’t really set as a goal for myself this year, it’s just been about having fun for me.
“These little achievements, they’re an indication of the way the team’s going and what we’ve done all season, we’ve been lucky enough to have a few boys in this team.
“I’ve got goosebumps thinking about it (being named 20 years after his dad), and we’ve talked about it before. He played for the Roosters, that’s where I lived, so that was my natural progression coming up into there, but there’s been so many similarities and paths that have been crossed, things he’s done that I’ve done already in my career and I’m only 25.
“They are things that you don’t really think about at the time until someone comes up and tells you, and there’s been lots of them already. This is just another one of them, a really special moment for me.”