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Warrington Wolves stalwart believes club are finally where they deserve to be
Lee Briers is not pinching himself that Wolves in the Grand Final, because he knows they deserve to be there
AFTER years of misery in the rugby league wilderness Lee Briers believes Warrington Wolves have now established themselves where they belong – at the top of the rugby league pyramid.
After enduring the low points of near bankruptcy in the late 90s and relegation in 2002, Briers was left pinching himself after achieving one of his dreams of playing in a Challenge Cup Final at Wembley in 2009.
Wolves have come a long way since then and as he prepares himself for a Grand Final debut at the age of 34, the former Welsh international feels differently about making his Old Trafford bow against Leeds Rhinos.
He said: “I am not pinching myself, or in disbelief that we are finally there because I believe that we deserve to be there.
“We have worked all year for this.
“It has taken us all this time and effort, not just in the last year but beyond that too, so we best enjoy it now.”
Though Wolves have twice defeated Leeds in big finals in the past three years, Rhinos’ record in Super League’s play-off structure demands to be taken seriously, having won five of the last eight Grand Finals and looking to repeat last year’s achievement of triumphing from fifth in the ladder.
They ended Warrington’s Grand Final dreams last year but as the 35-18 Wembley victory showed in August, Wolves are a better side now than they were when slumping to an unexpected defeat in the final week of September 2011.
Part of that, according to playmaker Briers, is due to the lessons they learned from that dreary, disappointing night at The Halliwell Jones Stadium 12 months ago.
“Why is this team the one that has made it compared to the others?” he said.
“Because we are a team that learns and adapts. We have learned from past mistakes and from past successes too.
“We are a mentally strong team and we have got a great coaching set up, backroom staff and administrators.
“That’s what makes us successful, that we are a really strong group from top to bottom.”