Shaun Wane highlights standout qualities of Lee Briers as he confirms England backroom staff for Tonga series

Drew Darbyshire
Shaun Wane Lee Briers Alamy

Shaun Wane (right) and Lee Briers (left) will work together for England this autumn

England coach Shaun Wane has added Brisbane Broncos’ Lee Briers to his coaching staff for this autumn’s test series against Tonga.

England will host Kristian Woolf’s side in a three-match test series at the end of the season, with games taking place in St Helens, Huddersfield and Leeds.

Speaking in a press conference in St Helens on Tuesday morning, Wane confirmed his coaching staff for the series, with Briers to be his assistant alongside former Castleford coach Andy Last, who worked with the national team at last year’s World Cup.

On bringing in the brains of Briers, Wane said: “He’s very smart as a coach. He’s a really good bloke and he’ll bring us a lot.

He pushed it, he wanted to be involved and showing that desire, we’re all proud Englishmen and we’ve all had our troubles in our past, and Lee is another story why we need to have success in this test series.”

Brisbane Broncos are reaping the rewards by recruiting Lee Briers, says England boss Shaun Wane

Briers left his role as assistant coach to Wigan’s Matt Peet at the end of last season to take up an opportunity in the NRL with Brisbane Broncos.

The former Wales international has certainly had a positive influence on the Broncos this season, with Brisbane in the NRL finals after finishing second in the ladder.

It didn’t surprise me,” Wane said when asked did it surprise him initially to see Briers heading to the NRL. “He’s a very smart bloke and he keeps things simple.

“Brisbane are seeing the benefit of him, no question. You can see the influence he has and they’re going from strength to strength.

“He got underused internationally as a player and he’ll bring a lot, no question. I admire him.

“He’s done a good job with us at Wigan and he went out there to test himself. There was a chance it wouldn’t work over there but he’s made a success of it and Brisbane look like they’re getting to a Grand Final and he’ll have played a massive part.

“The most important thing is winning and to play well is secondary but he’s a smart coach, I know what his attacking prowess is, he’ll bring that to England and the lads will love him.”

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