Lee Briers announced as Wales

Lee Briers will captain Wales for the first time on Sunday 16 October when Scotland are visitors to the Brewery Field, Bridgend in the opening match of the 2005 Rugby League European Nations Cup.

The Warrington Wolves captain makes a welcome comeback to Wales as he has missed the last two European Nations Cup tournaments due to injury. He won the last of his ten Welsh caps against New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium in 2002.

The 27-year-old stand-off has become a vital part of the Wolves side since joining from St Helens in 1997 and was inspirational in leading them to the Super League play-offs this year. Wales coach, Martin Hall hopes he can transfer this enthusiasm and leadership to the Dragons this autumn.

?Lee was the obvious choice as skipper,? said Hall. ?He has done really well at Warrington this year and has always excelled at international level. I know he can do the job for us this autumn and bring the European Nations Cup back to Wales.?

Briers made his international debut in 1998 for Wales against England at Widnes. He was the outstanding player in Wales? 2000 World Cup campaign that included a memorable display against Australia in the semi-final where he scored a try and two drop-goals to give Wales a 20-14 half-time lead before the Kangaroos stamped their authority on the game in the second-half. Briers made his full Great Britain debut against France in Agen in 2001.

The full Wales squad will be announced early next week.