Lee Briers will leave his position as assistant coach at Wigan at the end of the season to take up an opportunity in the NRL with Brisbane Broncos.
The Wales legend linked up with Wigan ahead of this season to be Matt Peet’s right-hand after 25 years of service as a player and coach at Warrington.
Briers has been appointed as development coach at the Broncos for the 2023 season.
“It’s come out of the blue,” Briers said on his NRL opportunity. “I’ve always had an ambition to go to Australia to test myself and an opportunity has arisen to go to the NRL.
“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.
“I keep catching myself thinking – I’m a St Helens lad 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.”
Could Lee Briers return to Wigan one day?
Warriors executive director Kris Radlinski says he could see Briers returning to the club one day.
Radlinski said: “Lee came to see myself and Matt a few days ago in a fairly emotional state. He said that a dream move to Australia has come up for him; and he feels as though he can’t turn it down. In our original meeting with him many months ago he stated that the NRL was a dream. We knew that if an opportunity came up we wouldn’t stand in his way.
“I do not feel as though Lee’s journey with Wigan is over and the way he has conducted himself over his time tells me that he will one day return.”