Adrian Lam has called for support for George Williams
By Ben Knapton
Last Updated: 13/03/19 4:04pm
England stand-off George Williams is feeling the pressure over continued speculation surrounding a move to the NRL, says Wigan coach Adrian Lam.
The 24-year-old is expected to switch to Canberra Raiders for next season, joining former Wigan team-mates John Bateman and Ryan Sutton.
The Warriors have endured a woeful start to the Super League season, with four losses in five games.
Williams has struggled to make an impact as Lam's side sit 10th in the table.
"He's gone a bit quiet the last couple of weeks and that's expected," Lam said. "I know that George has always wanted to play in the NRL and that's his decision.
"It's about giving him our support. He's one of our key players and probably our go-to player at the moment.
"He needs to play well and there's a little bit of pressure on him to perform this week and hopefully you'll see a different George Williams on Friday night."
With Sam Powell sidelined with an ankle sprain, Thomas Leuluai is expected to switch to hooker, meaning Williams will have a new half-back partner.
Jarrod Sammut, 32, is the more experienced option, but Lam said he is tempted to welcome Jake Shorrocks back to the side.
Shorrocks has not played for Wigan since February 2017, as he faced a battle to regain fitness following a serious knee injury, but the 23-year-old has been included in the 19-man squad for Friday's game.
"Jake's been outstanding in pre-season," Lam said. "He's been one of the highlights. He's certainly an option."
Further absentees Lam will have to deal with include wingers Dom Manfredi and Liam Marshall, sidelined with facial and knee injuries sustained in the defeat against Huddersfield last Friday.
Forward Taulima Tautai begins a three-match ban, but second rower Joe Greenwood and centre Dan Sarginson are back from injury and available.
Ryan Atkins has been recalled to the Warrington side in place of Bryson Goodwin. The 33-year-old sustained an ankle injury in their win over Castleford.