Wigan Warriors coach Adrian lam reveals family ties to Catalans counterpart

Adrian Lam used to coach Steve McNamara's son
Adrian Lam used to coach Steve McNamara's son

​ Adrian Lam knows counterpart Steve McNamara well... he used to coach the Catalans coach’s son!

Ben McNamara played at Lam’s Clovelly Crocodiles junior team when his dad – the former England coach – was on the Sydney Roosters staff.

“I coached Ben for two or three years, I think it was,” recalls Lam. “He’s a great player, and he’s in the north (at Hull academy), I’ve tried to get him here to Wigan.

"Ben was one of the first picks, Steve didn’t try and interfere at all... he was one of the good dads!”

Catalans head into the game searching for a third straight win following narrow victories against Hull KR and Leeds.

They have bolstered their squad with the early-season addition of Sam Kasiano from the NRL, and McNamara has named seasoned campaigners fit-again Greg Bird and Sam Moa in his squad. Of course, it is another Sam who will get the most attention.

Tomkins is set to make his first return to the club where he became one of the modern game’s superstars.

“He’s a legend in this town and at this club,” said Lam. “He’s coming in different colours this time around, so we will make him welcome with open arms and then do our part to make him feel like he’s part of the enemy.

“They showed last year in the Challenge Cup that they’ve got it in them to win big matches, and since then they’ve added Sam Tomkins and now Sam Kasiano, so they’re in a good position. They can power over sides and they have the offloads in them, too.

“But the focus is still on us, we can’t put too much energy into the opposition. When we’re in a situation like we’ve been in, our main concern has to be on us, the preparation on the opposition isn’t as detailed because you don’t want to overload them with information.”

Wigan’s win at Salford last weekend lifted the gloom which had descended with a five-game losing streak.

“It’s a lonely place as a coach when you’re losing and the players feel it, too,” said Lam. “Their expectations are to win – they’ve not been happy with where we’ve been at.”