Wigan Warriors: Lee Briers explains his decision to depart the club

Lee Briers says it has been a “tremendously tough” decision to leave Wigan Warriors.

The assistant coach will depart at the end of the current season to take up a role with Brisbane Broncos in the NRL.

Speaking to Wigan TV, Briers explained how he made the decision.

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He said: “It’s come out of the blue. I’ve always had an ambition to go to Australia to test myself and an opportunity has arisen to go to the NRL.

Lee Briers will leave Wigan at the end of the season

“Whilst I am excited to move, it is a bittersweet moment because I absolutely love it at Wigan.

“It’s been a tremendously tough decision to take but it’s one if I didn’t take, I would probably regret.

“If somebody had asked me 18 months ago, you are going to go to Wigan and enjoy it as much as you did, I would have just laughed.

“From minute one of coming here, I’ve felt wanted and welcome. The coaching staff have taken me in, and we’ve bonded, it’s probably the tightest coaching staff I’ve been involved in. It’s been a super tough decision, it’s gut-wrenching.

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Wigan Warriors: Lee Briers to leave the club at the end of the season

“I understand that this opportunity only arises because of the playing group and the staff. It wouldn’t have happened if the boys didn’t buy into what we do as coaching staff, there’s massive credit to the boys.

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“This group of players are by far the most close-knit group of players who want to learn every day. They are unbelievable.

“They’ve taken me in, trusted me and they’ve delivered.

“Also, Matt Peet gives me that trust. Me and Matt go further than just coaching. When my mum passed away, he was the first one to come and grab me. He’s always had the trust in me and hopefully I’ve repaid my bit.

“I’ve actually loved coming into training each morning. Some people call it work, this isn’t work when you love it so much.

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“People will say if you love it so much why will you leave, it’s not a case of that, it’s a case of wanting to go and experience something which has been burning inside of me since I was 15 years of age when I first toured Australia for the North West Counties.

“I keep catching myself thinking, I’m a St Helens fan through and through and I worked at Warrington for 25 years, but this is the place that has genuinely grabbed me without a shadow or a doubt. This place is something special and I’ll hold this dear to my heart.”

Wigan head coach Matty Peet has also reflected on Briers’ decision to head over to the NRL.

“Lee has made a really positive impact on the club since he joined us, not just with his knowledge and his coaching expertise, but most importantly, him as a bloke,” he added.

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“I’m sad to see him go and to see his family go but I’m also really pleased for him to get this opportunity, I know it’s an ambition that he’s had for a long time.”