Leigh Leopards’ incredible debut season in their rebranded state has finally finished and whilst it’s finished earlier than they’d like, it’s still been an incredible first year back in Super League with a Challenge Cup trophy, play-offs and marquee wins over the likes of St Helens, Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves.
Had you offered a Leigh fan that deal at the start of the season there’s no doubt that they’d have bitten your hand off for such an incredible campaign but those among the squad will have no doubt wanted more.
Five of their squad made the Super League Dream Team with four of those being Dream Team debutants, only Josh Charnley had earned such honours before.
The other four names were Tom Amone, John Asiata, Edwin Ipape and Lachlan Lam, whilst head coach Adrian Lam has been nominated for coach of the year.
Both Lachlan and Adrian have been one of the key stories though with Lachlan having transformed his game in Super League, to the point where he’s a Man of Steel frontrunner and has been touted for an NRL return.
It’s now been reported by multiple Australian outlets that Lam will return to the NRL for the 2024 season with that being attributed to something that coach, and father, Adrian Lam said.
That however is not true with Adrian instead expressing that Lachlan has a desire to return down under “one day” and expressing he may only have a “short time” with him, but not going as far to confirm an NRL return.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the Leopards’ loss to Hull KR in the playoffs, Adrian Lam said as follows:
“I’ve tried to make him enjoy his rugby a bit more as his coach and his rugby again. It is my job to make him improve. We know we have only got him for a short time so my role as father and coach is to make him get better to make that dream return to the NRL one day.”
Whilst this would indicate a possible future return, it’s not an indication that he’ll make an NRL switch for 2024, something that is further exemplified by the fact Lachlan signed a contract extension earlier in the season.
Leigh announced Lam had extended his contract till 2025 in early August and father Adrian recently expressed his desire to build a project at the club.
Speaking to BBC Radio Manchester after that play-off loss, he said: “It’s been an incredible journey the last two years, I’m very grateful for what we’ve achieved this year.
“We’ve made the top six. We’re disappointed tonight and the result, but it was always going to be a mountain to climb.
“You can’t make mistakes in the big games and it’s a lesson for individuals and for our team. We’re building. We have a five year plan.”
It may well be a nervy off-season for Leythers fans as plenty of talent could get poached but as yet there’s seemingly no indication that Lachlan Lam will be playing in the NRL in 2024.