Adrian Lam's rotation plan to keep Wigan Warriors fresh for title tilt
Adrian Lam hopes to strike a balance of rotating his squad – while keeping Wigan on course for a top-four finish.
The Warriors coach is fielding all of his available big guns for tomorrow’s clash with Catalans, and could even welcome Tony Clubb back into the mix.
But with six games to go before the semi-finals, he intends to tinker with his side. He realises such a move carries risks, but he believes the reward of keeping key personnel fresh will be worth it.
Rotating his squad also keeps fringe players battle-hardened in case they are called upon later in the season, if injuries or suspensions bite.
Lam said: “It’s very difficult because I’ve got some good players who will miss out at some stage.
“We want to rotate the squad to keep players fresh, but at the same time, keep winning. Not necessarily our best team will play every week, but we have a pretty good handle on that.
“We will prioritise our best 17 but also rotate in areas to make sure everyone is fresh at the end of the season.”
Wigan are second in the table but with the play-offs trimmed down to four teams Lam realises there may be little room for error over the next few weeks.
Catalans are four points adrift of Wigan but, should they win, will go ahead of them in the table on win percentage.
The Dragons beat Hull KR 34-4 in their last outing with ex-Warriors Joel Tomkins and Tom Davies collecting five tries between them.
Fellow ex-Wigan players Sam Tomkins and Micky McIlorum are also in Steve McNamara’s 21-man squad.
Tomorrow’s game at Headingley kicks-off at 5.30pm and is live on Sky Sports.
Wigan’s 21-man squad: Zak Hardaker, Bevan French, Tommy Leuluai, Tony Clubb, Sam Powell, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin, Ben Flower, Joe Greenwood, Morgan Smithies, Oliver Partington, Joe Bullock, Dom Manfredi, Jake Bibby, Harry Smith, Jackson Hastings, Amir Bourouh, Joe Shorrocks, Sam Halsall, Brad Singleton.
Catalans’ 21-man squad: David Mead, Israel Folau, Fouad Yaha, James Maloney, Josh Drinkwater, Micky McIlorum, Sam Moa, Matt Whitley, Joel Tomkins, Ben Garcia, Julian Bousquet, Tom Davies, Benjamin Jullien, Alix Da Costa, Mickael Goudemand, Paul Seguier, Arthur Romano, Jason Baitieri, Arthur Mourgue, Sam Kasiano, Sam Tomkins.
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