Leigh Leopards Full-Back Dilemma: Injury Challenges and Search for Solutions

Leigh Leopards Face Full-Back Challenges, Seek Solutions

Leigh Leopards are grappling with a pressing issue at the full-back position, as Gaz O’Brien’s extended injury layoff and a lack of available quota spots have complicated their search for a suitable replacement.

Head coach Adrian Lam confirmed that first-choice full-back O’Brien is set to miss an extended period after tearing his calf, leaving the team without their number one option. Lam 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 Leopards’ solution for their recent Challenge Cup clash with Hull KR was to deploy star signing Matt Moylan at full-back, but the veteran’s lack of pace was exposed as Joe Burgess scored the opening try for the opposition.

Lam revealed that the club has identified Newcastle Knights’ full-back David Armstrong as a potential target, stating, “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.” However, the Leopards currently do not have an available quota spot, preventing them from securing Armstrong’s services at present.

Addressing the situation, Lam said, “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.”

In the interim, the Leopards will continue with Moylan at full-back, and Lam praised the versatile player’s performance, noting, “Matty did a really good job at fullback last week, like I mentioned, he’s played for Australia in that position.”

The Leopards’ struggles have not been limited to the full-back position, as the long-term absence of Edwin Ipape at hooker has also contributed to the team’s slow start, with just one win and five losses so far this season.

Lam acknowledged the challenges of integrating new faces and youth in key positions, stating, “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.”

The Leopards will face another tough test on Saturday, as they travel to the Halliwell Jones Stadium to take on Warrington Wolves in their bid to get back in the win column.

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