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Lee Briers to pass on his extensive rugby knowledge to Warrington Wolves’ young playmakers
WARRINGTON Wolves have revealed that Lee Briers’ new coaching remit will include much more than just working with the under 19s next season.
The 35-year-old half back, who was forced to retire unexpectedly last month with ongoing neck and nerve damage, is due to carry out regular kicking training with select first-team players throughout the 2014 season, as well as taking up a mentoring role with half backs throughout Wolves’ junior ranks.
Briers is due to undergo further surgery to fix the neck problems that brought forward the end of his playing career, but once his recovery is complete Wolves’ newly appointed head of youth, junior recruitment and development, Ben Lazenby, is hopeful that retirement will allow Briers to increase his involvement in the club’s junior set-up.
“Lee will be coming on board as a more significant member of the (coaching) team now that he has retired, working primarily alongside our under 19s coach Danny Fullerton but also mentoring half backs throughout the junior ranks,” said Lazenby.
“It is great for someone in my position to be able to utilise the vast experience and footballing knowledge that Lee has.
“Everybody in the game knows that we don’t have the number of young British half backs that we would ideally like to have.
“At Warrington we want to educate our juniors to play the way that Lee Briers or Andrew Johns used to, with their heads up playing the smart way, playing what they see.
“And if we can develop the next Lee Briers or next Andrew Johns by asking them to pass down their knowledge then it would not only be good for Warrington Wolves, but the sport as a whole.”
Lazenby’s promotion following the departure of John Bastian to Featherstone Rovers is expected to nurture something valued very highly at Warrington Wolves, consistency.
As a result, Lazenby is largely hoping to continue building on the foundations laid by himself and Bastian over the past few years, although he has drafted some new faces to help him achieve this aim.
Former London Broncos coach Phil Jones will be joining Warrington to fill the post of player performance manager vacated by Lazenby’s promotion, while former Wigan and London Broncos player Chris Melling will make a similar move up to Warrington to take up the post of rehab specialist and Academy physiotherapist.
They will be joined by returning coach Gary Chambers, who will become head coach of the under 16s, and Jake Batsford, who has become the Academy’s head of strength and conditioning.
“Consistency is very important in youth development,” said Lazenby.
“It has taken a long time for the culture to bed in at Warrington and now that it has we want to continue with the great strides we have already made.
“We wanted to make sure we had a really excellent team in place throughout the youth department and I am delighted with the team we have put together.”
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