Some Wigan Warriors forwards told they're under pressure, reveals Adrian Lam
Adrian Lam has put some of his forwards on notice that they need to perform to hang onto their places.
The Warriors boss is set to name an unchanged team for the first time this season when Wigan face Catalans in Barcelona.
But with youngsters such as Morgan Smithies knocking on the door, Jake Shorrocks close to returning from a shoulder injury and senior forward Liam Farrell back soon, Lam has made it clear to some of his players that they need to perform.
Lam said: “A few of our forwards, I’ve spoken to them about the pressure to hold on to their positions and this is the first week we’ve had that competition.
“The forwards have been tapped on the shoulder and I’ve spoken to them honestly and said, ‘Look, you’ve got a chance to hold onto this jersey but I need you to perform.’
“Liam Farrell may be back in three games, Jarrod Sammut maybe a week or two away, they’ll have to fit in so all of a sudden we have options.
“This could be the first week this season that we can pick the same team.”
Willie Isa (calf) and England duo Oliver Gildart (hip) and George Williams (wrist) have overcome minor injuries.
Shorrocks, who missed Sunday’s Challenge Cup loss at Warrington with a shoulder injury, could be the only change to the side which went down 26-24 at the HJ.
“The players are still disappointed because we thought we were the better side,” said Lam, who will name his 19-man squad today.
“The exciting part is we feel we can play twice as good as that.
“We’re improving every week and we feel there’s a positive vibe and we’re heading in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, Lam believes the rule which saw Wigan’s opening try at Warrington be ruled out by video referee Robert Hicks needs to be addressed by the game’s authorities.
He stressed he wasn’t seeking excuses for the loss – he felt Dan Sarginson’s second-half try was a double-movement – but believes the issue should be addressed for the good of the sport.
“I think it’s a rule error,” said Lam. “Tommy’s going in for a solid tackle, you can’t be punished for making a positive tackle when you’ve no intention of playing at the ball.
“I think they agree. It’s different if the hand is in the way knocking down the pass when they have the potential to score.
“But when there’s no intent there... it was a great tackle, actions like what happened should be shown around the world, rugby league needs to find a way to allow those kind of tries.”
Wigan fly out to Barcelona later today.They will train near the Nou Camp tomorrow ahead of Saturday’s match, kick-off 3.30pm UK time.