“If I had finished Warrington and gone to coach in the Championship, I don’t get an opportunity at Brisbane. No way.”
Lee Briers says he will be indebted to Wigan for the rest of his career for affording him the platform to earn a dream move to Australia.
The Warriors’ assistant coach will leave the UK at the end of the season to join the coaching staff at the Broncos, and says it could never have happened without a year at Wigan that he describes as one of the best of his life.
The Warrington legend fell into a dark place last year when he was told by the Wolves that his contract as assistant coach would not be renewed upon the imminent arrival of new head coach Daryl Powell. It left the three-time Challenge Cup winner considering walking away from the sport that has been his life.
And opening up in an emotional interview on this week’s Love Rugby League Podcast, the Wales great explains how life-changing the past 12 months have been.
“I was as low as a snake’s belly last year,” said Briers.
“Change is hard, especially when you have not changed much in your life. Understanding that I might not be in rugby anymore as there aren’t many jobs about. Now I have come through it, I had strong support from friends and family, ended up at a fantastic club and it couldn’t have gone any better.
“Things definitely happen for a reason. I spoke a lot to people about my worries and to get through that, and I cannot stress how good a club Wigan is. That is the tough part about leaving. I’m happy and content but massively driven.”
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Brisbane offer came out of the blue, says Lee Briers
Briers admits the Brisbane offer came out of the blue and would not have happened at all had he not been given the chance at Wigan in the first place.
“Was I expecting a contract from Brisbane? No,” he said. “But I understand that me being at Wigan has put me higher on the pedestal and teams look at that.
“Without the backing of Ian Lenagan, Kris Radlinski, Matty Peet, the players and the staff it doesn’t happen. I’ve been projected to a different level.
“So I’m in debt to Wigan and always will be. They picked me up when I was at my lowest. I don’t blame Warrington, that was just business. But Wigan saw an opportunity and it fitted like a glove on a hand.”