ADRIAN Lam has swapped Leigh for Townsville but with his stock substantially increased after recognition at Super League’s Man of Steel awards.

Lam missed the glittering occasion at Emirates Old Trafford where his achievements with the Leopards this season were rewarded with the coach of the year accolade.

Josh Charnley collected the honour for the Leigh boss who has flown home to take up his role as assistant to Mal Meninga with the Australian national side.

The Kangaroos host Samoa at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Saturday in the opening round of games in the Pacific Championships.

Lam triumphed over 2022 winner and his successor as Wigan coach, Matt Peet, Salford’s Paul Rowley and Steve McNamara of Catalans Dragons.

He guided the Leopards to a first Challenge Cup win in 52 years, a best fifth place finish in Super League and the play-offs for the first time.

“What an achievement and what an honour,” said the winner. “It’s a personal milestone for me.

“I was pretty emotional when I received the news. I want to thank the fans who have been there on a week-to-week basis enjoying the highs of the season breaking records.

“And there was no bigger high than winning the Challenge Cup.”

Bevan French, signed by Lam during his tenure as Warriors boss, was voted Man of Steel ahead of Catalans’ Tom Johnstone and Jack Welsby of St Helens.

There were plenty of raised eyebrows among Leigh fans with the omission of Lance Todd Trophy holder, Lachlan Lam, and skipper John Asiata from the shortlist.

But Lam junior gained some consolation with recognition as the Rugby League Writers’ player of the season.

Leigh received a commendation, along with York, in the Foundation club of the year award which went to Barrow Raiders.

There was mixed news for Leopards’ props Robbie Mulhern and Tom Amone after the latest squad updates for England’s Autumn Test series against Tonga.

Mulhern, who first made an international bow for Ireland, has been added to Shaun Wane’s performance squad.

But despite strong backing from Lam, Amone has been overlooked by Tonga despite recognition for English based stars: Will Hopoate, Konrad Hurrell and Tui Lolohea.

*Leigh’s bid for promotion to group one of the Betfred Women’s League ended in a 14-8 play-off final defeat to Barrow Raiders at York.

Kieron Purtill’s side led 8-2 in the second half but the Cumbrians scored 12 unanswered points to join already promoted Featherstone in the top flight.

“Overall, I am really proud of the girls and the season we have had was fantastic,” said head coach Purtill.

“We are on a journey and our journey hasn’t finished yet. While we have not gone up this year, there is plenty more left in us yet.”