Brown: Forget about me

Saints coach Nathan Brown poses for a picture before his teams Super League Grand final match against Wigan Warriors, during a photocall at Old Trafford, Manchester
Saints coach Nathan Brown poses for a picture before his teams Super League Grand final match against Wigan Warriors, during a photocall at Old Trafford, Manchester

Ruthless Nathan Brown delivered a blunt message for anyone wrapped up his impending departure from Saints - just forget about it.

The club’s head coach will head back to his native Oz after guiding St Helens to their most successful campaign for years.

And he is determined to leave Saints on a high by bringing more silverware to Langtree Park.

“Coaches come and go - it’s part and parcel of the job,” said Brown, who will be exiting Langtree Park two thirds through a three-year contract.

“To be honest, I think we should be focussing on the game and not what a silly Aussie bloke like me is doing.”

He went on: “Obviously, I will be sad to leave this country, where I’ve made many good friends and will take home great memories, but at this moment in time I’d rather talk about the players because they are the most important people as far as I am concerned.”

Brown, who quickly learned about the intense rivals which exists between Saints and Wigan (“I couldn’t go to the shops when I first arrived without being told it was almost criminal to lose to them”), knows what victory will mean to the players and the people of the town after the numbing experience of losing on five successive occasions at the Theatre of Dreams.

Brown went on: “There is a little bit of hatred and rivalry between the two clubs but at the same time they have a great deal of respect for each other and that’s how I and my counterpart, Shaun Wane, feel.

“Shaun is a Wiganer through and through and has a great passion for his club and while I’m from Down Under, it soon eats into you what victory over the old enemy means to the town..”

Unless there are any last-minute injury scares, Brown will select the same 17 players who were on duty in the semi-final qualifying victory over the Catalan Dragons last week - and that means 19-year-old prop forwards Luke Thompson and Greg Richards will be two of no fewer than 14 Saints’ players making their Grand Final debuts.

“Both Luke and Greg have come through the junior ranks at the club and deserve their places in the squad,” he said.

“I will be surprised if both sets of forward are not up for the challenge on the day and I expect them to meet fire with fire.

“There can only be one winner and hopefully that will be us.”