There were a few gasps of disbelief when Adrian Lam was announced as the next Leigh Centurions head coach.
After guiding the Wigan Warriors to a Grand Final in the 2020 Super League season and subsequently earning the Super League Coach of the Year, Lam and Wigan decided not to take up another year with the ex-PNG international at the helm.
The Warriors finished fourth in the table, but exited the play-offs at the first time of asking following a dismal 8-0 loss to the Leeds Rhinos.
Lam, without a role, had been linked with Leigh for a few weeks before finally being appointed.
But, for the Papua New Guinean, taking the reins at Leigh was something which he didn’t – at first – contemplate doing.
“There were two opportunities to go back to the NRL and coach,” Lam told the Leigh website.
“I know you’ve got the best facilities in Super League never mind the Championship and that’s just the base of who we want to be.”
Lam did, however, reveal that he was majorly influenced by head of rugby Chris Chester in taking the job.
“I was a bit nervous when I first got here, and I had a conversation with the players.
“I know everyone is talking about what I can do for the club but I want to be part of the history of such a great club.
“I know the board’s intentions are clear from the start and I had a meeting with Chris (Chester) a few weeks ago which sealed it for me because I wasn’t sure.
“I wanted to talk about one or two players the club should look to get before I even took the job and Chris went out there and got the players straight away.
“And I thought that was the turning point and I wanted to be a part of it.”