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Warrington star Lee Briers in line for Wales comeback

Lee Briers produced a stand-off master-class in the Challenge Cup final for Warrington
Briers produced a stand-off masterclass in the Challenge Cup final

Iestyn Harris has called up Warrington Wolves star Lee Briers to his Wales squad for their autumn tests.

The 32-year-old half-back's man-of-the-match performance inspired Warrington to Challenge Cup glory over Leeds last month and now ends his Wales exile.

Briers won the last of his 18 caps in the 2007 World Cup qualifying defeat to Lebanon but he has been picked for Wales' five-game autumn series.

"Lee is the type of player that makes things happen, said Wales coach Harris.

"And there is not many of them about.

"So it is massively important for us that Lee plays as it is not just him that will play extremely well but he will help the team play well.

"And the squad will go up another level if lee plays and the team will play at a higher standard."

Wales play Italy in October before defending their European Cup when they face Scotland, Ireland and France.

Briers, winner of just one Great Britain cap, has already masterminded his side's Challenge Cup win over Leeds Rhinos and is now trying to help his Wolves win the Super League play-off title.

Briers has been tempted by the prospect of playing for Wales coach Harris alongside Crusaders' veteran ex-Wales and British and Irish Lions skipper Gareth Thomas.

He told BBC Sport Wales: "I've been chatting with Iestyn Harris and the rest of the Welsh coaching staff and if my body pulls through the play-offs okay then I'd love to pull on the Welsh shirt again.

I've met with the coaching staff of Wales. Iestyn Harris is doing a fantastic job and there's something I can still offer, I know there is

Welsh half-back Lee Briers

"What they did last year, winning the European Championship, was amazing. I had some brilliant times with Wales and it was such an honour to be involved.

"Gareth Thomas is a legend of Welsh sport and he's doing great things in Wrexham. To link up with him as well as some of the young lads such as Elliott Kear at the back and Ben Flower would be brilliant. But that's a bit down the track at the moment.

"I've met with the coaching staff of Wales. Iestyn Harris is doing a fantastic job and there's something I can still offer, I know there is.

"And there's some great young talented Wales kids coming through."

Wales host Italy in a Wrexham friendly on 3 October before their European Cup opener with Scotland in Glasgow on 10 October.

Wales' only European Cup home game is against Ireland in Neath on 17 October before their visit to France on 23 October.

The winners of the European Cup will earn a place in the 2011 Four Nations against England, Australia and New Zealand.

The 34-man senior squad includes six potential new caps as Thomas and Crusaders team-mate Jamie Murphy, Danny Jones from Keighley Cougars, South Wales Scorpions hooker Steve Parry, St Helens prop Jacob Emmitt and Ben Davies from Wigan Warriors all win their first Wales calls.


Wales' 34-man squad:
Andy Bracek, Matt James (Barrow Raiders); Mark Roberts (Blackpool Panthers); Craig Kopczack (Bradford Bulls); Mark Lennon (Burleigh Bears); Gareth Dean (Carcassonne); James Evans (Castleford Tigers); Chris Beasley, Ian Webster (Central Queensland Comets); Anthony Blackwood, Ben Flower, Elliot Kear, Gareth Thomas, Gil Dudson, Jamie Murphy, Jordan James, Lee Williams, Lloyd White (all Crusaders); Ross Divorty (Featherstone Rovers); Sean Penkywicz (Halifax); David Mills (Hull KR); Danny Jones (Keighley Cougars); Rhys Griffiths (Leeds Met); Neil Budworth (Mackay Cutters); Aled James, Ashley Bateman, Christiaan Roets, Geraint Davies, Steve Parry (South Wales Scorpions); Jacob Emmitt (St Helens); Ian Watson, Phil Joseph (Swinton Lions); Lee Briers, Rhys Williams, Ben Davies (Wigan Warriors)
Stand-by: Byron Smith (Batley Bulldogs), Matt Barron (Gateshead Thunder), Matt Thomas (London Skolars)



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see also
Briers hungry for more success
05 Sep 10 |  Rugby League
Thomas targets fitness for Wales
23 Aug 10 |  Rugby League
Thomas makes Wales league squad
03 Aug 10 |  Crusaders
Leeds 6-30 Warrington
28 Aug 10 |  Rugby League
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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