Briers ready to boost Harry’s game

Lee Briers is keen to help Harry Smith thrive in a Wigan shirt.

The 21-year-old club-produced halfback enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2020, when he helped the Warriors land the League Leaders’ Shield and reach the Grand Final.

But this year has been more frustrating for both player and club, with injuries to others meaning the former England Academy skipper has perhaps had more involvement than might otherwise have been the case, with Wigan finishing fourth and crashing out of the play-offs at the first stage.

New Wigan assistant coach Briers, of course, was a star halfback with Warrington, and is ready to pass on plenty of tips.

“I remember seeing Harry play when he was much younger and I thought he had great potential,” said Briers.

“Let’s not forget his age or that he’s trying to navigate the biggest club in the world around the field on a weekly basis.

“He was goalkicking, taking on all the pressure and typically, if Wigan didn’t play well, it was seen to be Harry’s fault.

“I want to release that pressure on him and get him back to playing with a big smile on his face. I know the player he can become, and the player he can be for this club.

“He’s still really young and we’ve got to get him playing consistently well, but he needs players around him doing the same too.”

Briers, previously an assistant coach at Warrington, and former Wigan favourite Sean O’Loughlin have been confirmed as right-hand men to new Warriors coach Matty Peet.

Briers believes a more fluent and flexible tactical approach from the team is necessary.

“What you find with Rugby League at the moment is it’s such a structured game – across all the clubs,” he explained.

“We’ve got to find a way to hopefully help the guys to not play in such a structured way, and to make sure they instead play what they see.”

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