Huddersfield boss Nathan Brown agrees to take over at St Helens

 

St Helens got their man today when Huddersfield boss Nathan Brown agreed to take over as head coach from next season.

The 38-year-old Brown, who is in his fourth season in Super League, will succeed fellow Australian Royce Simmons after he completes his commitments with the Giants in October.

Caretaker coaches Mike Rush and Keiron Cunningham, who have enjoyed outstanding victories over Leeds and Warrington since taking over from Simmons, are expected to stay in charge until the end of the season when Brown will take up a three-year contract.

St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus said: "We are extremely pleased that Nathan will be joining us next season.

"I believe he is ideally suited for the Saints both with regard to the way we want to play and as to what we aim to achieve in terms of success."

Brown became Saints' first choice to succeed Simmons - who was sacked after the club's worst ever run in Super League - once former head coach Daniel Anderson ruled out a return.

He turned Huddersfield into a major force in Super League, with a Challenge Cup final appearance in his first season and taking the Giants to within 80 minutes of a maiden Grand Final in 2010.

As speculation mounted over a move to St Helens, Brown last month issued a statement insisting he would remain at the Galpharm Stadium for the rest of the season but left open the chance to take over in November.

He said: "It's an honour to be appointed the head coach of St Helens. They are a great and historic club and continuously associated with success.

"I'm relishing the challenge for next season onwards. They have a strong first-team squad and more promising youngsters coming through their system, along with a great new stadium and training facility.

"That said, this season is all about Huddersfield Giants for me and it's good to get this announcement out of the way so that I can concentrate totally on the job at hand."

Huddersfield have already appointed assistant Paul Anderson as the successor to Brown, who joined them in 2009 after a 15-year association with St George as player and coach.

Cunningham, who is in his second year on Saints' backroom staff after hanging up his boots, will work alongside Brown next season, enabling Rush to concentrate on his primary role of player development.

Cunningham said: "I'm excited about Nathan's arrival and really look forward to working with him.

"The strength of our squad and of our coaching team in the years ahead will put us in a very strong position to continue to improve and to succeed at the highest level."

Huddersfield managing director Richard Thewlis admitted he was surprised at Brown's decision to abort plans to return to Australia but welcomed his decision to remain in Super League.

"Nathan informed me recently as to the background of this news and my first reaction was to congratulate him upon securing such a prestigious position," he said.

"I was naturally surprised as I know his plan initially was that he wanted to return to Australia but things do change and it will be good for the game in this country to have him stay for longer.

"Our plans for succession have been in place for some time now and I am sure that everyone connected with the Giants will be doing all they can to make this last year here for Nathan a memorable and successful one."

PA

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