Wigan Warriors coach Adrian Lam well aware of the 'bit of hatred' with St Helens
Adrian Lam is braced for a “fast and furious” start to his Wigan tenure – in a derby which has brought memories flooding back.
The new coach takes his Warriors side to St Helens for a blockbuster Super League opener.
And the former halfback – a fans’ favourite as a player for four years from 2001 – needs no reminding that there is more than two competition points on offer.
“The derbies were the highlight of my time here as a player,” he said.
“I understand for our fans and their fans what it means. The players don’t need the motivation, there’s always been a bit of hatred for each other, but once the siren sounds they shake hands and mates again and that’s the beauty of the derby – they leave everything on the field.
"It’s great to start against our arch-rivals. These are always the quicker games, fast and furious, and I can’t think of a better way to start.”
The opener is followed by home games with big-spending Leeds and then Lam’s former club Sydney Roosters in the World Club Challenge on successive weekends.
“The first month won’t define us, whether we win or lose,” he said. “It’s a learning curve, I’ve not settled on my 17, there’s a style of footy we’ve not quite nailed, but I know it’ll come.
“We have a great leadership team and we’re the champions, we’ll go there with a lot of confidence – it’s very exciting.
"Obviously I have a different philosophy to the previous coach who has done an amazing job and the players have bought in well to that. We'll see how that goes through the season. We'll wait until the weather has dried up a bit before that comes into play."