PART OF Wigan will be cheering loudly if Sydney Roosters win the World Club Challenge – not just because St Helens would have lost.
Cheers in the Sheffield area may also be heard as it means ‘mad’ Victor Radley would have done it again.
And Warriors boss Adrian Lam is the man who put the back-rower on the road to glory, courtesy of a few ‘serious conversations’ when he was younger.
Radley was a tough tackling forward at junior side Clovelly Crocodiles – so tough he was urged to stop it as he hurt opponents!
The son of Nigel, who comes from South Yorkshire, was taken under neighbour Lam’s wing as he took the kids at the Sydney club.
And he revealed he needed some guidance to stop him going down the wrong path.
Lam said: “We had a couple of serious conversations when he was younger to make sure he stayed out of trouble. He was a little bit naughty off the field but that was part of the fun!
“He was always wanting to fight someone along the way, which is funny as if you know him, he’s got such a beautiful soul and character.
“Then he just flicks a switch and becomes a little bit mad.”
Radley will start at loose-forward against St Helens tonight and Lam is not surprised the 21-year-old has made it so big after seeing what he can do as a kid.
He added: “I got Victor when he was seven and coached him until we put him in the Roosters system at 19. He’s best mates with my eldest son too.
“But as a player, he always had something different from everyone else. He wasn’t the biggest growing up but was always one of the bravest.
“He was always one of the players chosen first to make sure he was on their side. Victor’s a guy you’d want in the trenches really.
“He’s always been a great listener but he’s always worn headgear and a family member from an opposition team came up to me and said, ‘Can you ask Victor Radley not to tackle so hard?’
“This was Under 8s or Under 9s. I met with him and his father about changing his position on the field to where he is now.
“I said, ‘If we can skill him up, I think he’s got the potential to go all the way.’ As much as everyone sees him as an aggressive defender, he’s also very skilful.”
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