Adrian Lam: Wigan Warriors head coach to leave at end of 2021 Super League season
Former Wigan player Lam took over as head coach in 2019 and guided the Cherry and Whites to League Leaders' Shield success last year; "I feel it's the right time to pursue other opportunities and will leave at the end of this current 2021 season," he said
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 31/08/21 5:03pm
Adrian Lam will leave Wigan Warriors at the end of the 2021 Super League season, the club have confirmed.
The ex-Wigan scrum-half took charge of his former team two years ago initially as interim head coach, with that position later becoming permanent after Shaun Edwards opted not to join the Warriors.
Last year saw him guide the Cherry and Whites to a League Leaders' Shield success and the Super League Grand Final, where they were beaten by St Helens, and named as the competition's coach of the year.
However, in a statement released by the club on Tuesday afternoon, Lam stated his desire to move on when his contract expires at the end of the current campaign.
"This is my second time at this great club, my first being as a player then academy coach and this time as head coach," Lam said. "I have loved every moment along this journey and will hold close to my heart some wonderful moments and memories.
"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."
I feel it's the right time to pursue other opportunities and will leave at the end of this current 2021 season.
Wigan head coach Adrian Lam
Wigan currently sit fourth in the Super League table heading into the Magic Weekend derby clash with Warrington Wolves, having arrested a run of three straight losses with a 22-0 victory away to Castleford Tigers on Bank Holiday Monday.
Lam, who thanked the on and off-field staff at the Warriors for their efforts during his time in charge, still has his sights set on ending his time at the DW Stadium on a positive note after what has, at times, proven a trying third season in charge.
"I have had three great years here and this season is not over yet," Lam said. "Through the difficult time of Covid, my highlight would be winning the League Leaders' Shield and getting to the Grand Final where we came so close. Winning Super League coach of the year last year was also a personal highlight.
"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."
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan insisted there will be no rush to name Lam's replacement, with the club set to conduct a review of the current season and the staffing structures prior to making a new appointment.
Lenagan was full of praise for Lam's work during the past two years and the 2021 campaign though, and believes the former Papua New Guinea international, who is also assistant to Australia national team head coach Mal Meninga, has a bright future in coaching ahead of him.
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.
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan on Adrian Lam
"Adrian should be really proud of his three years in charge of Wigan Warriors," Lenagan said. "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."