Matt Peet takes over as head coach from Adrian Lam, with Sean O’Loughlin and Lee Briers being named as assistants; England head coach Shaun Wane will combine that with a role as Wigan’s leadership and management director
Last Updated: 05/10/21 12:51pm
Matt Peet will succeed Adrian Lam as Wigan Warriors head coach, with Shaun Wane returning to the DW Stadium in a leadership role.
Peet was most recently on Lam’s staff as an assistant, having previously been involved in the Warriors’ youth set-up, and has now been promoted to the top job ahead of the 2022 Betfred Super League season.
He will be assisted by Wigan icon Sean O’Loughlin, who retired last season to join the coaching staff, and former Warrington Wolves player and assistant coach Lee Briers.
📰 ANNOUNCEMENT | 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
— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) October 5, 2021
Wane, who oversaw three Super League Grand Final wins as Warriors head coach, will also take up the position of leadership and management director, combining that with his job as England head coach.
“It is a privilege to be named Wigan Warriors head coach,” Peet said. “I’m looking forward to what is ahead and I’m very grateful to [chairman] Ian Lenagan, [executive director] 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.
New Wigan head coach Matt Peet
“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.”
Peet has been a member of Wigan’s coaching staff for 13 years, along with spending time in rugby union working at Gallagher Premiership side Sale Sharks.
During his time at the Warriors, the 37-year-old has overseen community, scholarship, academy and reserves teams, as well as guiding their youngsters to six academy Grand Final wins in seven seasons during his time as head of youth.
Wane is excited to be providing mentoring to Peet as part of his new role, which brings him back to the club he was involved with for 30 years as a player and coach before departing for a role with the Scottish Rugby Union and then succeeding Wayne Bennett as England boss.
“This role presents me with an exciting new challenge,” Wane said. “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.”
Briers, meanwhile, makes the switch from rivals Warrington to Wigan to be reunited with Peet after the pair spent time working together as part of the England Academy team between 2014 and 2017.
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.
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan
The new-look coaching set-up is completed by O’Loughlin, plus head of analysis Jack Phillips and head of performance Ian Bentley. Meanwhile, long-time assistant John Winder leaves the club for a senior role with one of Wigan’s partner companies.
“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,” chairman Ian Lenagan said.
“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.”