Jackson Hastings & Bevan French back soon, says Adrian Lam
Adrian Lam believes Wigan will reap the rewards from giving Jackson Hastings and Bevan French longer breaks at home in Australia.
The Warriors coach is preparing to welcome them back into the squad soon ahead of the start of the new Super League campaign later this month.
Hastings and French have been following tailored training programmes while spending time with their families.
They had been due to return last month but that was delayed when the club had to close their Robin Park HQ for two weeks because of an outbreak of coronavirus in the squad.
With the facility now back open and the first fixture – against Leigh, on March 26 –on the horizon, Lam is looking forward to having them back on board soon. He said: “While they’ve been over there, we’ve been going through some difficult times.
“They were due back just before we had our lockdown, but then we had two weeks when we had to stay away from Robin Park and during that time, Jackson and Bevan were able to carry on their field sessions and training in the gym – which they couldn’t have done if they were over here.
“It’s been more beneficial for me as a coach that they stay in a healthy environment, Covid-free, with their families, and maintain their training.
“Our head of performance, Ian Bentley, has given them programmes which they’ve followed to a T, so I know they’ll come back as fit as anyone.”
Lam, like French and Hastings, had to spend two weeks in hotel quarantine when they flew home just before Christmas – which brought down the curtain on a long, interrupted campaign which had kicked-off in January. “With us finishing up in early December, I felt the squad needed some time off after a long season but in particular the overseas players who’d spent a lot of time away from their families during a pandemic,” added Lam.
Both players agreed new one-year deals with Wigan after impressing during the 2020 campaign, when they won the League Leaders’ Shield and reached the Grand Final.
Former Man of Steel Hastings last week indicated his enthusiasm about getting back on board, posting a highlights video on his Instagram page with the captions: ‘21’ and, ‘You ready?’ as well as tweets about looking forward to playing in front of fans again.
French has been relatively silent on social media as he spends time with his family. He flew home before the first lockdown last year to be with a sick relative.
“It’s no secret Bevan’s family is the No.1 in his life and as coach I’m supportive of that,” added Lam.