Challenge Cup this year is just as special, reckons Adrian Lam

Adrian Lam believes winning the Challenge Cup this year will be just as special – even though Wigan only need to win twice to reach Wembley.
Wigan coach Adrian LamWigan coach Adrian Lam
Wigan coach Adrian Lam

They face Hull FC in Saturday’s quarter-final in front of the BBC cameras. The coronavirus crisis, and Toronto’s decision to withdraw this year, combined to give the Warriors a free pass at the sixth-round stage – they were initially lined-up to face Warrington.

It means victory on Saturday would put them just 80 minutes away from an appearance in the final in a month’s time (October 17).

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But Lam doesn’t think the circumstances have taken anything away from the magnitude of the competition.

“Not really,” he said.

“When you win the Challenge Cup, it doesn’t matter how you get there, who you beat along the way, any of that stuff.

“You just want to get to the final and win it.

“And I look at our side, there are a lot of players who have been here a long time –the likes of Sam Powell, Oliver Gildart – and they’ve not won the Challenge Cup, and they’re desperate to. There’s a hunger, without a doubt.”

Wigan may still be synonymous with the Challenge Cup’s history but since their eight-year dominance ended in ‘95, they have won the famous old trophy just three times.

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Their most recent, in 2013, two years earlier in ‘11, and back in 2002 – when Lam played a starring role in a Murrayfield victory over St Helens.

“This competition is special to me, it’s special to all of us,” said the coach.

“This is one of the reasons I signed for the club as a player, because when I was a kid the Challenge Cup was massive, I watched it every year it was on and Wigan were the biggest club at the time.”