Leigh Leopards duo to return against Wigan Warriors but Robbie Mulhern a doubt

Drew Darbyshire
Frankie Halton, Ricky Leutele, Robbie Mulhern Leigh Leopards Alamy

Frankie Halton (left), Ricky Leutele (centre) and Robbie Mulhern (right) in action for Leigh Leopards

Leigh Leopards will be boosted by the returns of Ricky Leutele and Frankie Halton for their derby clash with Wigan Warriors, coach Adrian Lam has confirmed.

Centre Leutele and forward Halton missed Leigh‘s defeat at Salford last week with minor injuries, but they will return for Thursday’s Battle of the Borough clash with Wigan.

However, Lam has revealed that key prop Robbie Mulhern is a doubt for the game, having pulled up with a calf strain earlier this week.

“Robbie Mulhern has had a strain to his calf this week so that may be the next dilemma that we need to focus on moving forward,” Lam said in his weekly press conference.

“But having said that, Ricky Leutele and Frankie Halton, who missed the game last week, should play tomorrow night. They got through training yesterday and a light run today so hopefully they’ll be okay (for Thursday).”

Asked by Love Rugby League about how confident he is that Mulhern will be fit to face Wigan, Lam replied: “It’s a 50-50 to be honest with you, and it’s probably not looking on the good side of that 50 at the moment.

“We’ve just got to accept what’s going on, we’ve been trying to work out what’s happening with the soft tissue (injury) sort of stuff but we’re getting to the bottom of it.

“If Mulhern’s out, then we’ll just deal with it and bring in the next one. Players like Lewis Baxter made his debut for the club last week in the middle so if we need to bring another one in, then so be it, we’ll make a decision on that tomorrow.”

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Leigh Leopards boss Adrian Lam on possible loan options to help with injury cover

The Leopards have done it tough on the injury front in the early rounds of 2024, with captain John Asiata, winger Tom Briscoe and Dream Team duo Edwin Ipape and Tom Amone ruled out with long-term injuries.

Leigh have also had to be without Leutele, Halton and Lachlan Lam for some periods with minor knocks.

The Challenge Cup holders brought in hooker Brad Dwyer on loan from Warrington Wolves earlier this season – and the loan market is something Lam be open to looking at if any more injuries occur, but for the time being, he is satisfied with the squad he’s got at his disposal and giving opportunities to the younger members of his squad.

Asked about possibly dipping into the loan market, Lam said: “We may have to do that if anything happens further from this point moving forward but we’re okay at the moment.

“We’ve got some players out on loan too that we can bring back, this being the last week for them (out on loan), getting them back in time for the Challenge Cup (next week) so as a club, we’re doing it tough but that’s okay.

“It’s another challenge that we face as a group, but as long as we stick together, the vibe is still positive within the group, we understand we can fix this with what we have and it gives players an opportunity to get experience that they may not have otherwise.”

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