Matty Peet unveils new approach at Wigan Warriors
“It is a privilege to be named Wigan Warriors head coach.”
The words of Matty Peet after being given the reins by Ian Lenagan and Kris Radlinski to spearheard the era at Wigan.
The 37-year-old, who succeeds Adrian Lam, will lead a new-look coaching team including Lee Briers, who joins Sean O’Loughlin as assistant coach.
Shaun Wane will also be returning as leadership and management director.
“Matty has been developing consistently on our coaching pathway for some time,” said Warriors executive director Kris Radlinski.
“He has always had the technical coaching abilities but now possesses the crucial elements of leadership, communication and man management.
“Having watched him closely for a number of years, it is clear he is ready for the next step, surrounded by a strong and experienced support staff who will bring the best out of him.”
Peet has spent 13 years at Wigan and Sale Sharks, and is well known as one of rugby’s most promising young coaches with a reputation for strong leadership, technical excellence and innovative thinking.
His resume includes leading Community, Scholarship, Academy and Reserves teams, being the most successful head of youth at Wigan in decades (six Academy Grand Final wins in seven seasons) and two years as assistant coach of England.
“It is a privilege to be named Wigan Warriors head coach,” he said. “I’m looking forward to what is ahead and I’m very grateful to the club for giving me this opportunity.
“My philosophy on coaching is challenging every individual to a really high level and creating an environment that supports and cares for them.
“It is my job to make sure this team is prepared, that every individual is playing their absolute best, that they put the team and the club above themselves on a daily basis and we give our fans something to get behind.
“I intend to drive that connection between the players and, in turn, between the players, the fans and the town.
“We need to engage with the town, engage with the fans and provide a team and a style of rugby that this town can get behind.
“That starts with our day-to-day interactions and our day-to-day work.
“It is very important the people of this town know they are going to watch a team that is playing with pride, with passion and with some freedom.”
Chairman Ian Lenagan said: “The individual development and team performance of players and coaches across all of our squads is of paramount importance for the success of Wigan Warriors.
“Matty Peet is perfectly qualified in every respect to deliver in this role, and our significant additional investment in Lee Briers and Shaun Wane is targeted to achieve the success and entertainment Wigan fans deserve and expect.”
Wane, 56, spent 30 years at Wigan up to 2018 as a player and coach and has subsequently extended his rugby experience with Scotland Rugby Union and England Rugby League.
He returns to Wigan on a part-time basis while also retaining his role with England.
“This role presents me with an exciting new challenge,” said Wane. “My passion is developing people and culture and being able to do this at my hometown club is the perfect fit.
“I’m looking forward to working with Matty, Sean and Lee immensely.
“I’ve known Matty for years – he has great qualities. He is a coach that cares about his players and has an outstanding work ethic. I think he is the perfect fit for Wigan.”
Briers, who joins Wigan after 24 years with Warrington, worked alongside Peet when coaching the England Academy between 2014 and 2017.
He has extensive previous experience as assistant coach with Warrington’s Under-19s, reserves and first team and is well regarded for his knowledge and expertise in all aspects of kicking, patterns of play and player recruitment.
“I’m really excited for the challenge,” said Briers. “It’s what dreams are made of.
“Wigan is a massive rugby league club in anybody’s eyes so to be asked to come and coach here is special. I’m really looking forward to working alongside the staff here.
“We’re all focused on one thing and that’s making Wigan attractive winners again. We’re on the same wavelength, we’re all aligned and we’re looking forward to the job.”
Briers will work alongside Warriors legend O’Loughlin, who said: “I’m really excited about it. I learned a lot last year, but this is a top-quality coaching team and, hopefully, I can improve and move forward this year with them.
“I saw what Matty did so well with the Academy and how he has progressed since. He’s been a coaching mentor to me and I’ve already learned a lot from him.
“He’s always looking to improve coaching, learning from other organisations, people and players.”
After an initial year in charge of strength and conditioning, Ian Bentley moves up to head of performance.
As part of the new coaching team, a new head of analysis has also been appointed in Jack Phillips.
His previous experience includes Newcastle United FC, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Sydney Roosters and Cronulla Sharks in the NRL.
John Winder, who had been an assistant coach, will be taking up a senior role with the club’s partner company, Competence Development.
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