Adrian Lam touched down in Barcelona last night and declared: “This will be like a Wigan home game.”
The Warriors landed in Spain ahead of tomorrow’s ground-breaking match at the Nou Camp.
Catalans moved their home game 120-miles away after receiving an invitation from Barcelona FC, following the Dragons’ Challenge Cup triumph last August.
And Lam believes that will strip away the advantage they usually have of playing in front of a hostile crowd in Perpignan – and tilt it into Wigan’s favour.
“This is a Catalans game but to play at Barcelona doesn’t make it any team’s home ground – and that’s in favour of us,” said Lam, who had never visited Barcelona before. “And we’ve got so many fans travelling over, I actually think it’ll feel like a home game for the Cherry and White.”
Lam has experienced the might of Wigan’s support overseas five years ago when thousands travelled to Sydney for the World Club Challenge.
“I’d be having breakfast in a cafe and I’d hear, ‘Is that Adrian Lam?’” he smiled. “It was great, there were so many fans there all week. I was doing autographs and pictures again. The great thing about Wigan fans is they travel, and this will be the same, there will be thousands of Wigan fans.
“I know it’s only a couple hours down the road for them but we have 4,000 fans going and I know how loud they’ll be.”
Lam and his squad will get an indication of the size of the travelling support when they attend a fans’ event in Barcelona this afternoon, 2pm to 4pm local time. Before then, they will train at a campus near to the Nou Camp – the venue for tomorrow’s historic occasion.
Among the travelling Wigan and Catalans fans will be some locals and some neutral rugby league fans from England – as well as further afield.
“I’ve got four mates coming over from Australia for it, as soon as they heard we were playing at the Nou Camp they wanted to be there,” he said.
“This is such a big venue that’s known around the world. This will be one of the highlights of the season.”