Leigh Leopards boss Adrian Lam provides injury timeframes on Tom Briscoe and John Asiata

Drew Darbyshire
Tom Briscoe Leigh Leopards Alamy

Tom Briscoe is helped from the field during Leigh's defeat at St Helens

Leigh Leopards will be without winger Tom Briscoe and captain John Asiata for at least the next six weeks, head coach Adrian Lam has confirmed.

Experienced Briscoe and Asiata both left the field with calf injuries in Leigh‘s 12-4 defeat at St Helens last Friday night.

And speaking in his post-match press conference ahead of Friday’s visit of Leeds Rhinos, Lam confirmed that both players will be sidelined for at least the next six rounds.

“Both have got Grade 2 tears in their calves,” Lam said.

“One is like a 12 centimetre tear which is John and Briscoe has got a 10 centimetre tear in there, so that’s from six weeks onwards from that point.

“It’s long-term for both of them, I think Edwin (Ipape) is around that eight-week mark as well so we’re going to be without those three for a long period of time at the start of the season but I’m okay with that.

“It’s not ideal and it’s completely different than from what we’ve had in the past, we’ve been really good here injury-wise and I’m sure that’ll improve as the season goes on but it’s an opportunity for someone else to put their hand up and take the reins of the team through the middle.

“We’ll change our game up slightly to adjust but I think that, in my experience, teams that do lose their most influential or best players at the start of the season, once they (the team) can learn to play without them, they definitely benefit when they (the injured players) come back and go to another level and be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

“We understand there’s a massive challenge ahead, I think I heard somewhere the other day about no Tom Amone wasn’t in the team (at St Helens) as well, so there were three Super League Dream Team players not to play the majority of the game in Round 3 was quite difficult but we’ll have to learn to do that.”

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The good news for Leigh this week is that they get to welcome back influential prop Tom Amone, who missed last week’s game at St Helens through a one-match suspension.

Lam also revealed that four players are contending to fill the void on the wing left by the injured Briscoe.

He added: “A few of the boys have been really good over pre-season, (Ed) Chamberlain has been very good, (Tom) Nisbet has been very good, Umyla Hanley, Keanan Brand.. it’ll come out of those four players who’ll replace him.

“I’m excited because I think any one of those players deserve an opportunity so whoever gets named, I think it’ll be a good opportunity to put their foot forward.”

The Leopards take on the Rhinos at the Leigh Sports Village on Friday night, 8pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports.

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