Lee Briers wants to go back to the future with Wigan – by providing cherry and white fans with both success and entertainment.
The Warriors’ new assistant coach, on board after almost 25 years at Warrington, is ready to try to help to rekindle the glory days of the nineties, when there were seven successive league titles before the arrival of summer rugby.
Since then, Briers’ first club St Helens have had the upper hand, with this year’s third consecutive Grand Final triumph meaning they have won Super League nine times, one more than Leeds and three more than Wigan, whose last crown came in 2018.
That was under the guidance of Shaun Wane, who has returned to the DW Stadium club as leadership and management director, working alongside new coach Matt Peet, Briers and Sean O’Loughlin.
Former Wales and Great Britain international Briers, 43, has coached at various levels at Warrington since retiring as a player after the Grand Final defeat by Wigan in 2013, and he worked with Peet in the England Academy set-up between 2014 and 2017.
“We’re all focused on one thing and that’s making Wigan attractive again,” he said in the wake of a fourth-placed finish and home play-off elimination by Leeds under Adrian Lam.
“We’re on the same wavelength, we’re aligned and we’re looking forward to the job.”
An attendance of only 7,396 for that 8-0 loss to Leeds was a cause for concern, and Briers added: “I looked at Wigan in the 1990s, early 2000s and they were exciting, they had quality players all over.
“We need to get back to that, we need to get the fans back through the door. If there is one thing we can promise, it’s that we’re going to try and play exciting rugby.”
Briers is already planning for, and looking forward to, the start of pre-season training.
“Pre-seasons are tough and brutal, but that’s how we can build a foundation and being new coaching staff, we can set some really good values,” he added.
“This club is built on success, I walk around here and it oozes success, demands success, so it’s something I’m really excited to be a part of. I can’t wait to get on the field with the boys.”
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