Nathan Brown highlights the differences between Super League and NRL

Josh McAllister
Nathan Brown

Former Super League and NRL head coach Nathan Brown has discussed the differences between the NRL and Super League for outside-backs and forwards. 

Brown, 49, says he had a lack of confidence in outside-backs making a successful switch from Super League to the NRL.

The former player began his coaching career at St George Illawarra Dragons in 2003. He went on to coach Huddersfield and St Helens in Super League. He then returned Down Under with Newcastle Knights and then New Zealand Warriors.

Brown resigned as the New Zealand Warriors head coach earlier this year.

The 2014 Grand Final winning coach was the latest guest on James Graham’s podcast. The pair discussed the differences between the NRL and Super League. 

Nathan Brown on differences between Super League and NRL

“What I found was there was a difference in the way it’s played in England and the way it’s refereed,” Brown said on the Bye Round Podcast with James Graham. 

“The biggest difference I found was, in my time there, when I was advising people about players coming to Australia, I could hang my hat on English forwards. But I didn’t have any confidence in English outside-backs. The game is so different. That’s where the big difference is for me. 

“The pace is different and the type of athlete and the challenges for backs in Australia is different.

“The challenge for the forwards in England is very different to here [Australia]. But it gets them ready to come to Australia and dominate.

“You watch a young English forward like yourself [James Graham], John Bateman, Sam Burgess and Elliott Whitehead, they all started playing first grade at 17. And in winter it’s a bit slow and tough and you get the sh** beat out of you.

“A young kid in Australia is playing S.G. Ball Cup, Matthews Cup or Under-20s. The young English forwards, they get a real tough grounding early on in their age group and if they come through that, you can bet they’re going to play good in the NRL.”

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