Fresh start for Wigan Warriors players under new boss Adrian Lam

Adrian Lam
Adrian Lam

New coach Adrian Lam has a clear message to his players as they return for pre-season training today: “You have a clean slate.”

He will outline his vision when the bulk of his first-team squad arrive to begin preparations for the 2019 campaign.

Senior players such as Liam Farrell, Ben Flower and Thomas Leuluai will be among those who will undergo fitness testing.

But with six internationals – four from England, two from France – absent, Lam will get a chance to cast his eye over fringe players and younger members of the squad such as Jake Shorrocks, Liam Forsyth and Josh Ganson.

And he has challenged them to make an early impression, saying he will go into

pre-season with an open-mind.

Lam said: “Some players have earned the right to get a start after the successful year.

“But with the new start, all these players who didn’t get a go before will hopefully be thinking this is an opportunity for them to put their hand up and say, ‘Look at me’.”

Lam wants to make an impression on his players, too.

He recognises how much success they enjoyed under predecessor Shaun Wane - for many players, their only first-team coach.

“I want to show them how committed I am to them and to the cause,” said Lam.

“Shaun Wane did a great job and he was very passionate and I’m not too dissimilar, and I want to bring a fair bit of football to the team.”

Star recruit Zak Hardaker will not be among those players who return today.

He is undergoing treatment concerning his relationship with alcohol following his drink-driving conviction last month, and is expected to start training early next month.

Wigan are this week expected to unveil their new home kit.

And they are still waiting for Catalans to tell them whether their fixture against the Warriors next May will be moved from Perpignan to Barcelona’s Nou Camp.

The Dragons’ press officer, Yannick Rey, heightened hopes the match will take place at the iconic venue with a tweet last week showing pictures of the ground, captioned simply: “2019.”