Wigan were impossible to resist, says Briers

Lee Briers has revealed he could not pass up the chance to join Wigan Warriors as assistant coach, insisting, ‘It just felt right.”

The former Warrington Wolves halfback and assistant coach joins the Warriors coaching staff alongside new head coach Matt Peet, fellow assistant Sean O’Loughlin and leadership and management director Shaun Wane.

Briers spent 24 years at the Wolves as a player and assistant coach with the Under-19s, reserves and first team, before being told he wouldn’t be offered a new contract under new coach Daryl Powell.

This led to the former Wales international being approached by a number of clubs, but he admits that once Wigan were interested it was very difficult to turn down.

When asked who would have predicted him in Wigan colours, he said: “I probably wouldn’t have thought it myself. But it’s crazy how the world works. Who would have thought two years ago that the world would be shutdown with Coronavirus.

“I’m really excited by the challenge. Wigan is a massive club. You only get that feel for it when you enter it. It demands success and that’s what I am really looking forward to.

“Warrington weren’t renewing my contract because of Daryl Powell coming in. He had his own staff and that’s fine. It came about three weeks ago. I met Kris Radlinski and Matty Peet – I have been mates with Matty through our days at England Academy. I met Matty and Kris and within two days I had met the Chairman and owner Ian Lenagan and by the Monday the deal was offered.

“I was just buzzing. It literally just happened over four or five days. I must admit, it’s been so professional that it has blown my mind away. I was open to all offers and I had a few already ongoing at the time, but this just felt right. It felt like the perfect fit.”

Briers has been on the end of boos and jeers while representing Warrington at the DW Stadium, and now he can’t wait for this to be his home ground.

“As a coaching group we want to bring the excitement back to Wigan. To come and play at the DW Stadium on a Friday night for Warrington in front of 24,000 people, it was just the best ground you could play at. Now it’s my home ground and very exciting.”

Briers has been listed as an assistant coach and it has been made clear that he will not just focus on attack, he will oversee defensive techniques and vice-versa with O’Loughlin, which he is looking forward to.

“It’s a shared role. We will be dipping in and out with our expertise. Why would I just be an attack coach and Sean be defence, when he was probably the best attacking forward that has probably played our game? We would be daft not to tap into that. And for myself, when you have been told for 16 years that you can’t tackle, you kind of pick up how defend and how systems work.

“There is a lot of knowledge between the three of us – four if you include Shaun Wane. We will be dipping in and out of everything and making sure everything is aligned to make Wigan successful.”

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