Adrian Lam hails brave Sam Halsall for playing days after dad's death

Wigan head coach Adrian Lam has paid an emotional tribute to 19-year-old centre Sam Halsall after he played for Newcastle Thunder on Sunday, just days after the death of his father.
Sam Halsall with his proud dad, Dave, who sadly passed away last weekSam Halsall with his proud dad, Dave, who sadly passed away last week
Sam Halsall with his proud dad, Dave, who sadly passed away last week

Halsall, who is on loan to the Championship club, decided to play on Father's Day in memory of his dad Dave Halsall, who died in the week at the age of 47.

Lam, whose side wore black armbands during their Super League game against Hull KR on Friday night, recalled the conversation he had with the teenager the day after his father's death.

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"He came into my office and we both hugged and cried for a long time," Lam said at his weekly press conference.

"I'm emotional about it now because, as a young man, it's not meant to happen to you in your lifetime.

"Sam was in a really difficult place and still is. As a club, we've rallied around him and made sure that we're here for him.

"He made a decision to play for Newcastle Thunder on the weekend because that's what his dad would have wanted him to do.

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"So it was really important that he played and played well and he scored a try which influenced the game in several ways.

"We're really proud of what he's done. It's a real difficult time for him and I know it was emotional in the dressing sheds at Newcastle as well.

"I'd just like to give Sam a really big rap on behalf of the club on being strong through the situation."

Halsall made his Super League debut for Wigan against St Helens last September and played in this year's Challenge Cup tie against York before going on loan to Newcastle.

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With utility back Jackson Hastings missing Thursday's Super League game at Wakefield after being called into the Combined Nations All Stars team and Liam Farrell and John Bateman on England duty, Lam will be short on numbers but he will not be calling on Hallsall.

"It's going to be a really tough week for him this week with his father's funeral," Lam added.

"The players are right behind him, the supporters will be there and the whole club is there to get behind him.

"I'm going to be talking to Sam as we go through the week but I think we should just leave him be at the moment.

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"It's a week-to-week proposition with him. He's getting a lot of game time there and they're going well as a team with him and Mitch Clark there.

"So we'll keep him there until we can find him a way into our team."

Lam says Wigan will also be without prop forward Brad Singleton against Wakefield after he was given a two-match suspension for a head-butt during the 18-8 defeat by Hull KR.