Nathan Brown (rugby league, born 1973)

Nathan Brown
Personal information
Born (1973-07-31) 31 July 1973 (age 47)
Maclean, New South Wales, Australia
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 88 kg (13 st 12 lb; 194 lb)
Playing information
Position Hooker
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1993–98 St. George Dragons 120 23 0 0 92
1999–00 St. George Illawarra 52 9 0 0 36
Total 172 32 0 0 128
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
2003–08 St. George Illawarra 151 80 0 71 53
2009–12 Huddersfield Giants 131 76 1 54 58
2013–14 St Helens 62 39 1 22 63
2016–19 Newcastle Knights 94 24 1 69 26
2021– NZ Warriors 0 0 0 0
Total 438 219 3 216 50
As of 28 August 2019
Source: [1] [2] [3]

Nathan Brown (born 31 July 1973), also known by the nickname of "Brownie",[4] is an Australian former professional rugby league football player, and coach, who played in the 1990s and 2000s, and has coached in the 2000s and 2010s. He played as a hooker for the St. George Dragons and St. George Illawarra Dragons in the National Rugby League (NRL), also coaching the latter. He then spent time in the Super League coaching the Huddersfield Giants and St Helens, with whom he won the 2014 Super League Grand Final, before returning to Australia to coach the Newcastle Knights in the NRL.

Playing career

At the end of his debut season Brown played for the St. George Dragons in the 1993 Winfield Cup Grand Final loss to the Brisbane Broncos. He also played for them in the 1996 ARL season grand final loss to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. Brown played for the newly formed St. George Illawarra Dragons at hooker in their 1999 NRL Grand Final loss to the Melbourne Storm. He was forced to retire following a neck injury in a 2001 NRL season trial game.[citation needed]

Coaching career

St. George Illawarra Dragons

Brown was appointed coach of the Dragons for the 2003 season, becoming the youngest non-playing coach in years in the NRL at age 29. During his first season, at a match on Sunday, 13 April 2003 against Manly at WIN Stadium, a frustrated Nathan Brown berated captain Trent Barrett, Brett Firman and Lance Thompson on the sideline in the 53rd minute with the scores locked up at 12-all. Brown slapped Barrett across the cheek and grabbed the jerseys of Barrett and Thompson. The incident was seen by the crowd and other players on the big screen and proved a decisive turning point as Manly ran in five second half tries to win 38-12. After the match, Brown was apologetic to Barrett and was later fined $5,000 by the NRL.[5]

On 19 July 2005, Brown was fined $10,000 by the NRL after claiming that referees are biased against St George Illawarra. Brown made the comments after his team were penalised 9-3 by the referees in St George Illawarra’s 10-36 defeat by Manly-Warringah.[6]

After finishing second in the 2005 competition, Brown's team lost the preliminary final to the eventual premiers, Wests Tigers. Following many injuries and team losses throughout the 2007 season, he was under pressure to keep his job heading into the 2008 season.

On 1 April 2008, it was announced that Brown would not coach the Dragons in the 2009 season, which ended an association with the club that stretches back to the start of the joint venture. He was replaced by Wayne Bennett.[7] on 18 July 2008 it was announced that Brown had signed a 3-year deal with Super League club, Huddersfield, the same club Tigers superstar Brett Hodgson joined.

Huddersfield Giants

In his first season at Huddersfield he took the team to the 2009 Challenge Cup final.

St Helens

He left Huddersfield at the end of the 2012 season to take control of St Helens.[8] In his first season as coach, Brown guided St Helens to 5th place in Super League. However, they were defeated 11-10 by Leeds Rhinos in the play-offs stage of the competition.[9]

In his second season, Brown guided St Helens to 1st place in Super League and victory in the Grand Final, after defeating the Wigan Warriors 14-6 at Old Trafford.[10][11][12][13][14]

Brown's side playing against a 12-man team for 78 minutes, after Warriors prop Ben Flower was sent off for punching Lance Hohaia in the second minute of the match.[15] In October 2014, it was announced that Brown would leave the club to return to his native Australia, citing 'family reasons'.[16]

Melbourne Storm

In February 2015, the Melbourne Storm announced that Brown had joined the club as a "coaching consultant". Based in Sydney, Brown worked on scouting assignments and provided specialist coaching for the club's hookers.[17] On 9 September 2015, Brown signed a 3-year contract to coach the Newcastle Knights.[18]

Newcastle Knights

The 2016 NRL season was Brown's first as head coach of the Newcastle Knights. In his first two seasons at Newcastle, Brown's side collected back to back wooden spoons, finishing last on the ladder. In 2018, after Newcastle defeated Brisbane, Brown claimed at the press conference that Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett was to blame for Newcastle's problems over the last few seasons. He went on to say “I just don’t think he needs to behave like that myself but the reality is when Wayne came to town if he thought with his big head rather than his little head, I wouldn’t have had to rebuild the joint,’’. Brown went on to apologize for his remarks a few days later.[19][20]

In June 2018, Brown signed an open ended performance based contract with the Knights with no set term but a payout agreement should the contract end.[21]

In the 2019 season, the Knights won their first game, lost their next 5, then won 5, before going back on a 5-game losing streak.[22] This prompted discussions between Brown and club CEO Phillip Gardner, resulting in a mutual agreement that Brown would not coach the Knights in 2020, but would stay on until the end of the season.[23][24] However, on 27 August, the Knights announced that Brown would depart the club effective immediately.[25]


  1. ^ "Nathan Brown - Career Stats & Summary". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Nathan Brown - Summary". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "BROWNIE: Rule changes forcing teams to play less like the Storm". The Roar. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  5. ^ "No jusitfying infamous Barrett slap: Brown - Nine Wide World of Sports". Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Gus takes reins at Roosters; Stuart quits Sharks". NRL.
  7. ^ "Bennett, Furner set for new roles". 13 July 2012. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  8. ^ "St Helens appoint Nathan Brown as new head coach". BBC Sport. BBC. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Super League: Leeds Rhinos 11-10 St Helens - BBC Sport". 20 September 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  10. ^ "St Helens 14 Wigan Warriors 6: Moment of madness from Wales international Ben Flower costs Wigan dear". Daily Telegraph. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  11. ^ "St Helens win Grand Final after Wigan's Ben Flower is sent off". Guardian. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  12. ^ "St Helens 14–6 Wigan Warriors". BBC Sport. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  13. ^ 12 Oct 2014 (12 October 2014). "Super League Grand Final: St Helens 14-6 Wigan Warriors - BBC Sport". Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  14. ^ Cartwright, Phil (11 October 2014). "St Helens v Wigan as it happened". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Super League Grand Final: St Helens 14-6 Wigan Warriors". 12 October 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2019 – via
  16. ^ "Nathan Brown: St Helens head coach to leave after Grand Final - BBC Sport". 3 October 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  17. ^ NRL. "Brown joins Storm as coaching consultant - Storm". Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  18. ^ Robert Dillon (9 September 2015). "Newcastle Knights make it official, appointing Nathan Brown as coach". Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  19. ^ "Nathan Brown mends bridges with Wayne Bennett after stunning sledge". 9 April 2018. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  20. ^ "Newcastle Knights: 2017 season by the numbers". 12 December 2017. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  21. ^ "Coach Brown and Knights agree to contract extension". Newcastle Knights. 14 June 2018.
  22. ^ "Custom Match List - Rugby League Project".
  23. ^ "Statement on the future of coach Nathan Brown". Newcastle Knights. 20 August 2019. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  24. ^ "NRL club's stunning coaching call". NewsComAu. 20 August 2019. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  25. ^ "Nathan Brown to depart Knights effective immediately". Newcastle Knights. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.

External links

Preceded by
Andrew Farrar
St George Illawarra Dragons

Succeeded by
Wayne Bennett
Preceded by
Jon Sharp
Huddersfield Giants

Succeeded by
Paul Anderson
Preceded by
Royce Simmons
St. Helens

Succeeded by
Keiron Cunningham
Preceded by
Danny Buderus (interim)
Newcastle Knights

Succeeded by
Kristian Woolf (interim)

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