Brown excited over facing former club Giants

Nathan Brown
Nathan Brown
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Former Huddersfield Giants boss Nathan Brown admits he stayed on too long at the club as he waited to take up his new job with St Helens.

The 39-year-old Australian was appointed as the successor to Royce Simmons at Langtree Park last April but stayed on at the John Smith’s Stadium, intending to see out his fourth season with the Yorkshire club.

Huddersfield were top of Super League at the time of Saints’ announcement but shortly afterwards went on a downward spiral, and Brown parted company with them in the aftermath of a crushing Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Warrington in July.

Brown guided the Giants to Wembley and to within 80 minutes of a maiden Grand Final appearance in his first three years, but they finished seventh in 2012 under successor Paul Anderson and lost 46-10 to Hull in the first round of the play-offs.

Brown admitted his mistake when he addressed his first press conference at St Helens since taking up a three-year contract.

“The reality is with European sport when you sign somewhere you generally go the next day, whether you’re a coach or a player,” he said.

“At the time I made my decision, my intentions were good to stay and the club’s intentions were good. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. I probably should have left the next day but we all wanted it to work. It didn’t, so you shake hands and move on.”

Brown will soon be renewing a few old acquaintances as the new Super League season approaches.

He will come up against his old club on Friday when they play his new team in a pre-season friendly at Langtree Park, just three weeks before they coincidentally do battle in the opening round of Super League VXIII.

“That will be a bit different for myself because in 20 years I have never opposed my former club,” he said. “I’m not sure what to expect but I’m looking forward to it.

“I have a great relationship with Huddersfield. I talk to the players and the coaches – there are no hard feelings. It’s just sport, sometimes the rugs don’t fit any more.

“I want us to do well but I want Huddersfield to be just a bit worse than us, if that makes sense. If we were to come first and them second, it would be an ideal result.”

n Former Bradford Bulls forward Phil Joseph has signed a one-year deal with Widnes Vikings.