Why Wigan Warriors boss Lam is making changes to his side

Adrian Lam will make up to three changes to his side for Friday’s opening play-offs game against Salford.
Wigan Warriors boss Adrian LamWigan Warriors boss Adrian Lam
Wigan Warriors boss Adrian Lam

One has been forced on him, after Oli Partington was cited by the match review panel and charged with striking with the arm.

He faces an automatic one-game ban unless Wigan decide before noon today to appeal.

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And centre Dan Sarginson is looking doubtful after suffering a hamstring strain in last Thursday’s 26-8 win against Castleford.

Chris Hankinson, who has done well deputising at centre this season, is on stand-by to replace Sarginson if he is ruled out.

And Liam Farrell’s return from suspension could see him take Partington’s place in the side, albeit with a shuffle of the pack.

But another position is giving Lam more of a headache.

Liam Marshall is available after overcoming a hamstring injury.

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But in his absence, Bevan French has impressed on the right wing, giving the coach a decision to make.

He could leave out either one of those two players, or even left winger Joe Burgess.

Alternatively, he could reinstate Marshall to the right wing and put French on the bench – he has the versatility to cover all the backline spots, and even play in the halves. “Sarge isn’t ruled out, but at the moment he’s looking more unlikely to play than likely to play,” said Lam, speaking at a media event at Old Trafford to launch the play-offs.

“We’ll look at Oli’s charge and make a decision on that. Faz is back, Marshy is potentially back – I’ll speak to my staff and make a decision on what we do there.”

Meanwhile, Castleford’s Jesse Sene-Lefao faces a two-match ban for the offence of Grade C Strikes with Knee, for the challenge on Partington which led to him being red-carded.