England-All Stars rules out trio from Wigan Warriors duty - but Adrian Lam isn't complaining
Adrian Lam has thrown his full support behind England’s match against the Combined Nations All Stars - even though it may rob him of at least three players for Thursday’s clash at Wakefield.
Forwards John Bateman and Liam Farrell are in the provisional England squad, which will be trimmed down, while Jackson Hastings is vice-captain of an All Stars squad which will be confirmed today.
With Tony Clubb and Zak Hardaker suspended and Bevan French and Jai Field among those injured, their call-ups will further limit Lam’s options when they head to Wakefield next Thursday - 24 hours before England play the All Stars, a revived version of the ‘Other Nationalities’.
But Lam, the Australia assistant coach, won’t be complaining.
“It’s a World Cup year, Shaun Wane has his first opportunity to coach England to a World Cup and he wants what’s best,” said Lam.
“By having this All Stars game - Wigan have always been a supporter of it because it’s growth and reward for players playing well during the season.
No doubt every club will be in the same position, I’m sure the smarts behind the game have been working hard to try and balance it out so you won’t have one club missing six and another missing one.
“I’m sure if a club hasn’t got any in the England squad then two or three may be in the All Stars.
“So there’s been a lot of that going on to make it fair, but as a club we’re really supportive, regardless of what position that puts us in against Wakefield, we’ll manage that process.”
Clubs agreed to play on if they are missing up to six players in total, for either the England or All Stars squads.
“Our club are a driver behind it, I believe the best players should be rewarded with a representative jersey,” said Lam.
“We’ll give someone else an opportunity and that excites me, bringing in someone like Kai Pearce-Paul who is on the verge of playing.
“I’m not going to be that coach who complains, I want to support it.”