14 June 1978 |
St. Helens, England
|Height||180 cm (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||13 st 1 lb (83 kg)|
As of 10 November 2013
Source: Rugby League Project
Lee Briers (born 14 June 1978), is a retired professional rugby league player who played for Warrington in the Super League. He previously played for St. Helens, and at international level he won 23 caps for Wales, many of those as captain. His usual position was Stand-off.
Briers signed for hometown club St Helens and broke into their first team as a teenager, standing in for the suspended captain Bobbie Goulding. His performances helped guide Saints through to the 1997 Challenge Cup Final, winning the Man-of-the-Match award in the semi-final defeat of Salford. However, the return of Goulding meant Briers was dropped to the reserves, missing out on an appearance in the final. In addition to being dropped for the final, Briers was not taken to be fitted for a Cup Final suit and was not taken with the squad down to Wembley, much to his – and his team mates' – chagrin. Local rivals Warrington stepped in to secure his signature in a £65,000 move.
Briers made an instant impact at his new club. His presence at scrum half added an attacking edge to the Warrington team and he was nominated for Young Player of the Year in his first season at Wilderspool. He went on to become the primary playmaker of the side, and was named as captain in 2003. During that time Briers became well known for his excellent kicking skills and his ability to successfully convert drop goals. He currently holds the Super League record, and jointly Warrington all-time record (with Paul Bishop), for the most drop goals in a game (5 against Halifax at the Shay in 2002).
The 2011 Super League season was Briers' 14th. During this season he broke a number of club records including top all-time points scorer, having overtaken club greats Brian Bevan and Steve Hesford. He broke the record during a Challenge Cup home 112–0 demolition of Swinton. This match also saw Briers break his own club record for points in a match (set 11 years earlier against York), with 44 points, from 16 goals and three tries.
In 2012, with the goal to make Warrington Wolves a lasting legacy, Lee and the team went on to win the Challenge Cup Trophy for a third time.
In 2013, during the second match of the season against Wigan Warriors, Lee suffered a neck injury which saw the Warrington ace out for 13 games. He returned for a Tetley's Challenge Cup fifth round tie against Salford City Reds in which he made not only a try scoring return but also kicked his 1000th career goal.
In November 2013, although Briers had a year remaining on his contract, he announced his retirement due to a neck injury. He played 425 games for Warrington, scoring a club record 2,586 points.
Shortly before announcing his retirement, Briers released his autobiography, Off the Cuff.
Briers was capped by Great Britain v France in their 42 12 win on 26 October 2001. Having made his Wales debut in 1998, Briers went on to make 23 appearances for his country and featured in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup. Following the team's failure to qualify for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, Briers announced his international retirement. However he came out of retirement to represent Wales in the 2010 European Cup, and captained the side to victory in the tournament. He went on to captain Wales in the 2011 Four Nations, before once again retiring from international rugby league at the tournament's end.
- "Lee Briers". warringtonwolves.org. Warrington Wolves. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- "Leeds 6–30 Warrington". BBC. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- "Warrington 112–0 Swinton". Guardian. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- "Lee Briers: Warrington Wolves half-back announces retirement". BBC Sport. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Briers announces international retirement