Adrian Lam: Wigan Warriors head coach to leave at end of season

Adrian Lam
Wigan won the League Leaders’ Shield in 2020 under Adrian Lam before losing to St Helens in the Grand Final

Wigan Warriors head coach Adrian Lam is to leave the club at the end of the campaign after three seasons in charge.

Lam, whose contract runs out at the end of the season, led the Warriors to the 2020 League Leaders’ Shield and is the reigning Super League Coach of the Year.

The 51-year-old, who spent three years as a Wigan player, initially became head coach for the 2019 campaign.

But he stayed after Shaun Edwards opted against taking over in 2020.

“Adrian should be really proud of his three years in charge of Wigan Warriors,” saidexternal-link Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan.

“After initially being appointed on a one-year contract, Adrian earned two more years and won the League Leaders’ trophy, coming agonisingly close to winning the Super League Grand Final in 2020.

“We are proud to have offered Adrian his first full-time head coaching job and we believe his experience at Wigan, including the difficult Covid and lockdown period, will lead on to even greater things for him in rugby league.

“Adrian joins a select group who have won trophies and represented Wigan successfully as a player and head coach and we will always hold him in high regard.

“We will now take some time to review the season and the current staffing structures and make an announcement on his replacement in due course.”

The former Papua New Guinea scrum-half played State of Origin rugby for Queensland and had a six-year spell at Sydney Roosters before moving to Wigan as a player in 2001.

He succeeded Shaun Wane as Wigan boss after the conclusion of the 2018 Super League season, leading the Warriors to a second-placed finish in 2019 before they were beaten by St Helens and Salford in the play-offs.

The Warriors topped the table on win percentage as the 2020 season was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, but lost 8-4 to rivals St Helens in the Grand Final after Jack Welsby’s dramatic last-minute try.

“I have loved every moment along this journey and will hold close to my heart some wonderful moments and memories,” Lam told the club website.

“The people of Wigan have always made me feel like one of their own and that is why I love this town so much.

“I feel it’s the right time to pursue other opportunities and will leave at the end of this current 2021 season.

“This season has been difficult with injuries, but as I’ve always said, I have belief in this squad. I love and trust the players and I know when we get to the play-offs in good shape, we can do anything and get the rewards we deserve.”

The Warriors have struggled to gain traction during a Covid-affected 2021 Super League season.

Earlier this year, they lost Bevan French for the rest of the campaign because of injury, and are set to lose Jackson Hastings and Oliver Gildart to Australian side Wests Tigers from 2022.

Prior to their morale-boosting win against Castleford on Monday, Wigan had been in an uncharacteristically poor run of form under Lam.

Their 26-2 home defeat by St Helens on 20 August was the first time they failed to score a try at home since moving to the DW Stadium in 1999 while their 14-0 loss to Leeds last week was the first time they failed to register a single point in a home game in the Super League era.

Despite their recent form, the club are still in the hunt for a play-off spot as the regular season draws to a close, with Lam’s side fourth place in the table. However, their win percentage means a top two finish is unlikely.

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