Wigan unveil new Coaching Team

Wigan Warriors are delighted to unveil a new Head Coach and Coaching Team for 2022 onwards.

  • Matt Peet as Head Coach
  • Lee Briers as Assistant Coach
  • Sean O’Loughlin as Assistant Coach
  • Shaun Wane as Leadership and Management Director

In addition:

  • Jack Phillips is appointed Head of Analysis
  • Ian Bentley is appointed Head of Performance

The new Wigan Head Coach, Matt Peet, 37, has completed 13 years as a Coach at Wigan Warriors and Sale Sharks and is well known as one of rugby’s most promising young coaches with a reputation for strong leadership, technical excellence and innovative thinking.

Matt’s resume includes a Level 4 High Performance Coaching Qualification and a 2.1 Honours Degree from Manchester Metropolitan University. His wide-ranging experience includes leading Community, Scholarship, Academy and Reserves teams, being the most successful Head of Youth at Wigan in decades (six Academy Grand Final wins in seven seasons) and gaining plaudits during his two years as Assistant Coach of England.

Lee Briers joins Wigan after 24 years with Warrington having worked alongside Peet when coaching the England Academy between 2014 and 2017. He has extensive previous experience as Assistant Coach with Warrington’s Under-19s, Reserves and First Team and is well regarded for his knowledge and expertise in all aspects of kicking, patterns of play and player recruitment.

Sean O’Loughlin continues in his role as Assistant Coach working alongside Briers, building upon the skills and experience he gained during his first year in coaching.

Shaun Wane returns to the Club as Leadership and Management Director. Wane, 56, spent 30 years at Wigan up to 2018 as a player and coach and has subsequently extended his rugby experience with Scotland Rugby Union and England Rugby League. He has also focused on developing his own portfolio of leadership and commercial skills. Currently the Head Coach of the England men’s Rugby League team, Wane returns to Wigan on a part-time basis whilst also retaining his role with England. 

After an initial year in charge of Strength and Conditioning, Ian Bentley is appointed as Head of Performance working closely alongside Matt Peet in the crucial areas of Sport Science, Strength and Conditioning and Planning.

As part of the new coaching team, a new Head of Analysis has also been appointed with Jack Phillips arriving at the Club. Since 2012, Phillips who has a Master’s degree in Performance Analysis, has worked at Warrington in a number of roles including Performance Analyst for the Academy before progressing to Head Analyst for the First Team. His previous experience includes Newcastle United, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Sydney Roosters and Cronulla Sharks.

On the new Coaching Team announcement, Chairman Ian Lenagan said:

“The individual development and team performance of players and coaches across all Wigan’s squads is of paramount importance for the success of Wigan Warriors. Matt Peet is perfectly qualified in every respect to deliver in this role and our significant additional investment in Lee Briers and Shaun Wane is targeted to achieve the success and entertainment Wigan fans deserve and expect. 

Executive Director, Kris Radlinski, added:

“Matt Peet has been developing consistently on our coaching pathway for some time. He has always had the technical coaching abilities but now possesses the crucial elements of leadership, communication and man management. Having watched him closely for a number of years, it is clear that he is ready for the next step, surrounded by a strong and experienced support staff who will bring the best out of him.

On becoming Wigan Warriors Head Coach, Matt Peet said:

“It is a privilege to be named Wigan Warriors Head Coach. I’m looking forward to what is ahead and I’m very grateful to Ian Lenagan, Kris Radlinski and the Club for giving me this opportunity.

“My philosophy on coaching is challenging every individual to a really high level and creating an environment that supports and cares for them. It is my job to make sure that this team is prepared, that every individual is playing their absolute best, that they put the team and the Club above themselves on a daily basis and that we give our fans something to get behind.

“I intend to drive that connection between the players and, in turn, between the players, the fans and the town. We need to engage with the town, engage with the fans and provide a team and a style of rugby that this town can get behind. That starts with our day-to-day interactions and our day-to-day work.

“I think it is very important that the people of this town know that they are going to watch a team that is playing with pride, with passion and with some freedom.”

On joining Wigan, Lee Briers said:

“I’m really excited for the challenge – it’s what dreams are made of. Wigan is a massive Rugby League Club in anybody’s eyes so to be asked to come and coach here is special.

“I’m really looking forward to working alongside the staff here. We’re all focused on one thing and that’s making Wigan attractive winners again. We’re on the same wavelength, we’re all aligned and we’re looking forward to the job.”

On working as Assistant Coach in the new Coaching Team, Sean O’Loughlin said:

“I’m really excited about it. I learned a lot last year, but this is a top-quality coaching team and, hopefully, I can improve and move forward this year with them. I saw what Matt did so well with the Academy and how he has progressed since. He’s been a coaching mentor to me and I’ve already learned a lot from him. He’s always looking to improve coaching, learning from other organisations, people and players.”

In commenting on the return of Shaun Wane, Kris Radlinski added:

“Having spoken to Shaun Wane on a number of occasions throughout the year, it was clear that he wanted to be involved again in club rugby. I spoke to our Chairman, Ian Lenagan, and presented a vision of how I felt Shaun would fit back in.  

“Shaun has got a vast skill set and knows how to get the best out of people. He will use his technical knowledge of the sport, his man management skills and his leadership qualities to boost all departments throughout the Club. Along with Ian and myself, Shaun will plan, mentor, instil discipline and drive standards.”

On returning to Wigan, Shaun Wane said:

“This role presents me with an exciting new challenge. My passion is developing people and culture and being able to do this at my hometown Club is the perfect fit.

“I’m looking forward to working with Matt, Sean and Lee immensely. I’ve known Matt for years – he has great qualities. He is a coach that cares about his players and has an outstanding work ethic. I think he is the perfect fit for Wigan.”