Fylde RFC’s most senior player Chris Briers is to join the club’s coaching staff while also signing up for a ninth season in the playing ranks at the Woodlands.
READ MORE: Adam Lewis to continue as Fylde captain next season
The 35-year-old centre, and occasional full-back or fly-half, has made 208 National League appearances for Fylde , scoring 61 tries, and served as club captain from 2015-17.
Fylde is Briers’ fifth club, having made his debut for Sale Sharks in 2003-4 before moving on to Orrell, Sedgley Tigers, Rotherham Titans and Doncaster Knights. He has made 395 National League appearances in all.
The versatile back joined Fylde for the 2011-12 campaign, following their promotion to National One, helping the club to remain at that level for seven seasons.
Briers has averaged a remarkable 25 league games per season over 16 years, in addition to making many appearances in Lancashire’s highly successful County Championship team and representing England Counties.
He has also been appointed to Warren Spragg’s coaching team for the coming season, working alongside Alex Loney.
Spragg said: “I’m really pleased that Briersy is coming on board with a coaching role this season. He’s a player with a tremendous amount of experience across the game and has been working to develop his coaching over the past few years.
“I am sure he will be able to combine his playing and coaching responsibilities while keeping his playing level to the standard required.
“Briersy is a strong character and will challenge my thinking, which will be just what is required as we look to improve on last season’s coaching.
“I am excited about what we can achieve as a team of ambitious coaches, who have long-standing connections with the club and local rugby community.”
Briers said: “This will be my ninth season at Fylde and I’m looking forward to it as much as I did the year I joined.
“The squad has changed a great deal over the years, from an experienced group of players, many of whom were ex-pros, to a young squad ready to start their senior rugby journey.
“In recent years, the club has taken a dip in form and has been going through a transition. I feel the squad has developed a lot over the last few seasons and I’m excited to be a part of this new era as a player and a coach.”
Briers is a lecturer in Rugby and Sport at Myerscough College. He is also the Lancashire Academy lead coach, Lancashire Mentor Scheme lead coach and Lancashire Development Centre coach.
Confirmation of Briers’ ongoing commitment to the club comes a day after prop Adam Lewis was re-appointed captain for next season.
It is anticipated that Fylde will retain most of last season’s first-team squad, with contracts to be confirmed over the coming weeks.