Lee Briers has amazing pedigree in the Challenge Cup helping mastermind three final wins for Warrington in the space of four years.
His first came in 2009 at the expense of Huddersfield – who his new team will play against today in the decider – before wins over powerhouses Leeds Rhinos in 2010 and 2012.
Now at Wigan as assistant coach with the Warriors looking to pick up their first trophy of their new era under Matt Peet, Briers has provided some insight into what today is like for players who are set to take to the biggest stage – insight which will no doubt help his players today.
He explained all on the Wigan website saying: “As a player, the build-up was horrendous for me.
“I was a very nervous player. I used to be sick ready for the game and I could never stop that whether I was playing against Wigan, whether I was playing against Swinton it didn’t matter I was always sick.
“The Semi Finals I thought was always the worst time, I’d lost 5 Semi Finals prior to 2009, so I was sick every single morning leading up to the Semi Final, I didn’t sleep more than a few hours a night and when we finally won and got through to the final I was thinking ‘wow, I’ve got to go through that again.’”
“When I was in the changing rooms at Wembley, it’s twenty-past two and I’m thinking right I’m ready to be sick, and I wasn’t, I wasn’t nervous. I thought ‘this is strange’, played the game and won it, unbelievable feeling to finally get that first win and it was one of the best feelings I’ve possibly ever had in the game.
“In 2009 my son was mascot, which was great for our family. It’s something that we hold dear to our hearts and have really good memories of that. We beat Huddersfield that year too so hopefully we can do that again. To do it 2010 and get the Lance Todd Trophy, again I wasn’t nervous at all. Fantastic, winning that Lance Todd, in my eyes one of the biggest man of the match awards you can win in Rugby League, especially in this Country.”
You can read the rest of the interview where he explains his different experience in cup final week as a coach here.