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Leigh Leopards and their problem position

Leigh Leopards celebrate

Leigh Leopards have a clear problem at full-back with Gaz O’Brien out injured and the club is currently unable to recruit target David Armstrong due to a lack of quota spots.

Adrian Lam has confirmed that first-choice full-back Gaz O’Brien is set to be sidelined for an extended period after tearing his calf, the Leopards’ boss explaining in his presser this week that they’ll be without their number one for a while.

He explained: “It’s probably six weeks plus so it’s not good but another calf tear so we’ve obviously had a few of those so not good for us.”

The answer to the problem at the weekend in their Challenge Cup clas with Hull KR was to send star signing Matt Moylan to full-back but the veteran’s lack of pace was exposed by Joe Burgess for KR’s opening try of the game.

Leigh Leopards have seemingly identified their preferred answer to the problem but it’s not a viable solution right now. That answer seems to be Newcastle Knights’ full-back David Armstrong who the club were heavily linked with in the off-season.

Lam confirmed this week: “Yeah, it’s a position that we’ve been looking at for a little while and you know, David Armstrong has been of interest to me and Chessie and the group, without a doubt.

“He’s someone that we would see fit in this environment really, really well and the style of play that we play will suit him. We’re always open to looking at anyone coming off contract that’s going to make us better, whether it’s during the season or off-season.

“He is a player that we are interested in. It’s not working out at the moment but that’s what happens.”

Leigh Leopards set to continue with Matt Moylan at number one

Leigh Leopards

Credit: Imago Images

Ultimately though, Leigh Leopards don’t have an available quota spot which means they’re unable to recruit Armstrong at present and that’s something Lam is well aware of.

He noted: “We’ve just got to keep looking at making sure that we take care of our own backyard first and get this place right in here. And if things change and develop from that, we’ll make notice of that and let everybody know.

“For now, I think Matty did a really good job at fullback last week, like I mentioned, he’s played for Australia in that position. So Ben McNamara coming into that position has done a really good job for us on the right but he’s young and he’s learning as well.”

That has created problems so far this season, especially the long-term absence of Edwin Ipape at hooker which has contributed to the club’s start of just one win and five losses.

Lam explained: “In really key positions around the field, we’ve got new faces and youth, but it’s going to take time. So we are also looking to build a squad in any capacity at any point of the season.”

They’ll travel to the Halliwell Jones Stadium and face Warrington Wolves on Saturday, another incredibly tough task to get back in the win column.

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