Lee Briers hoping to 'release pressure' on Harry Smith at Wigan Warriors in 2022

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josie andrews
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Lee Briers hoping to 'release pressure' on Harry Smith at Wigan Warriors in 2022

Post by josie andrews »

The former Great Britain star will work closely with the half-back next year.

There are not many better mentors for Harry Smith to call upon.

The 21-year-old was thrust into the spotlight perhaps sooner than he and anyone at Wigan Warriors could have expected this season.

Long-term injuries to Bevan French and Jai Field, plus the constant reshuffling of Adrian Lam's spine, meant Smith was afforded an extended run in the side at a time when Wigan were struggling for form.

It is therefore perhaps unfair to judge Smith on his performances in 2021, but there is one man who believes he can bring the best out of the half-back: new Warriors assistant coach Lee Briers.

One of the most talented half-backs of his generation, Briers will look to help Smith mature into the player he identified as a frontline talent many years ago. "I remember seeing him play when he was much younger and I thought he had great potential then," Briers admits.

"There are a lot of other young players here in the same bracket, and Harry is certainly one of them. But let's not forget that he's only 21, and he's trying to navigate the biggest club in the world around the field on a weekly basis. He was goal-kicking, taking on all the pressure and typically if Wigan didn't play well, it was seen to be Harry's fault."

The new coaching team of Briers, Sean O'Loughlin and head coach Matt Peet will all be tasked collectively with developing Smith and the other young talent at Wigan. Briers insists it is not as black and white as he will work on the attack, and O'Loughlin on defensive duties.

But there is no doubting that many will be watching Smith closely in 2022 to see if the arrival of Briers at Wigan will rub off on a player who still possesses great potential.

I want to come here and release that pressure on Harry," Briers says.

"I want to get him back to playing with a big smile on his face. I know the player he can become, and the player he can be for this club. He's still really young and we've got to get him playing consistently well, but he needs players around him doing the same too.

"We'd be lying if we said we didn't want to play attractive rugby, and that will hopefully excite Harry. But if we're playing well, it's not down to Lee Briers; we're all in this together."

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morley pie eater
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Re: Lee Briers hoping to 'release pressure' on Harry Smith at Wigan Warriors in 2022

Post by morley pie eater »

Perfect assessment from Briers.
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Wigan_forever1985
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Re: Lee Briers hoping to 'release pressure' on Harry Smith at Wigan Warriors in 2022

Post by Wigan_forever1985 »

I was talking to someone whos partner worked with Lee at warrington and apparently he is actually very motivational and really good at getting players in a good space
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fozzieskem
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Re: Lee Briers hoping to 'release pressure' on Harry Smith at Wigan Warriors in 2022

Post by fozzieskem »

I hope Briers releases whatever it is with Smith but everyone said the same about Lam helping Smith...
Southern Softy
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Re: Lee Briers hoping to 'release pressure' on Harry Smith at Wigan Warriors in 2022

Post by Southern Softy »

Take away the place-kicking duties; concentrate on tactical kicks along the ground and using his natural talent at beating opponents one on one and then we might just see the best of him.
southportcdm
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Re: Lee Briers hoping to 'release pressure' on Harry Smith at Wigan Warriors in 2022

Post by southportcdm »

I agree with Southern Softy, if somebody else could take the place kicks it would take a great deal of pressure off Harry. It's promising to read that Briers already realises where he could have the most immediate impact on our attack. I know it's not much at this stage but I'm clutching at straws for where we're going to improve next season. After all, isn't the best bit of the off season for fans the time it gives us to convince ourselves that next season will be better?
CheshireWarrior
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Re: Lee Briers hoping to 'release pressure' on Harry Smith at Wigan Warriors in 2022

Post by CheshireWarrior »

Saying all the right things and Lee Briers certainly had all the skills of an effective playmaker back in the day. With Briers being assistant too, would think he has more time to invest in Smith as opposed to Lam being head coach.

As for conversion taking, if this can be managed better this season, I'd keep Smith on it, especially if Zak is off?
moto748
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Re: Lee Briers hoping to 'release pressure' on Harry Smith at Wigan Warriors in 2022

Post by moto748 »

Field kicked 7 goals for St George, according to wiki. In (only) 11 appearances.
nathan_rugby
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Re: Lee Briers hoping to 'release pressure' on Harry Smith at Wigan Warriors in 2022

Post by nathan_rugby »

southportcdm wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:27 pm I agree with Southern Softy, if somebody else could take the place kicks it would take a great deal of pressure off Harry. It's promising to read that Briers already realises where he could have the most immediate impact on our attack. I know it's not much at this stage but I'm clutching at straws for where we're going to improve next season. After all, isn't the best bit of the off season for fans the time it gives us to convince ourselves that next season will be better?
Are you just assuming the kicking duties is loads of pressure on Smith?

I get that it’s added pressure but is it “a great deal of pressure”?
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Barney841
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Re: Lee Briers hoping to 'release pressure' on Harry Smith at Wigan Warriors in 2022

Post by Barney841 »

nathan_rugby wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 11:29 pm
southportcdm wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 5:27 pm I agree with Southern Softy, if somebody else could take the place kicks it would take a great deal of pressure off Harry. It's promising to read that Briers already realises where he could have the most immediate impact on our attack. I know it's not much at this stage but I'm clutching at straws for where we're going to improve next season. After all, isn't the best bit of the off season for fans the time it gives us to convince ourselves that next season will be better?
Are you just assuming the kicking duties is loads of pressure on Smith?

I get that it’s added pressure but is it “a great deal of pressure”?
If he’s the best goal kicker he takes them simple, pressure or not
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