Brown leaves Giants
Huddersfield Giants have parted company with head coach Nathan Brown, just 24 hours after their Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final defeat by Warrington Wolves.
The 38-year-old was due to leave the Giants at the end of the season, his fourth with the West Yorkshire club, to take up a three-year contract with St Helens.
But Huddersfield have brought his departure forward after a slump that saw them win just one of their last eight matches and plummeted from the top of Stobart Super League to seventh.
Brown’s assistant Paul Anderson, who was due to become head coach in November, will take over immediately and prepare the side for Sunday’s home game against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
“Clearly all can see that we have not performed to a level that we are confident this squad is capable of and as a consequence we have today agreed that Nathan will leave the club and Paul will move forward as head coach,” said Huddersfield managing director Richard Thewlis.
Brown insisted after yesterday’s 33-6 defeat by the Wolves that he had no intention of leaving early, despite revealing that the players had prompted a radical change in tactics, but today he accepted his fate with typical grace.
“I am sorry that my time has ended earlier than probably anyone would have wished but I understand the club’s decision,” he said in a statement issued by the club.
“I have had a great time at the club and will cherish some superb memories and have made some life-long friends amongst the players, coaches, staff and supporters.
“In particular my support staff, led by Paul Anderson, have been wonderful and I wish them every success going forward, especially Paul who I hope will get the group to a strong finish to the season.”
Brown, the former St George Illawarra boss who succeeded Jon Sharp at the Galpharm Stadium in October 2008, enjoyed instant success in England, guiding the Giants to third place in Super League and a place in the Challenge Cup final in his first season.
It was the club’s highest finish in Super League and their first trip to Wembley for 47 years, although they were beaten by Warrington.
A year later Huddersfield went within 80 minutes of a maiden Grand Final and Brown extended his initial three-year deal by another 12 months.
Last December, Brown confirmed he would be leaving the club at the end of 2012 and the club announced that Anderson would be his successor on a three-year deal.
This season the Giants topped the table after winning 10 of their first 12 league matches but have gone into freefall with just one win in their last eight, culminating in a 52-6 hammering at Castleford Tigers eight days ago when both Brown and club chairman Ken Davy apologised to fans for the team’s display.
Thewlis added: “It is a sad day when the coach leaves any club and I pay tribute to the enormous contribution that Nathan has made to the Giants in his three and a half years with us.
“We remain in a play-off position in Super League and believe that the move today is in the best interest of all concerned and gives us the best opportunity to cement as high a position as possible in the run to the end of the season.”
It remains to be seen whether St Helens will bring forward Brown’s start date at Langtree Park or leave caretaker coaches Mike Rush and Keiron Cunningham in charge for the rest of the season.
It seems likely, however, that Kieron Purtill, who began the season as number two to Royce Simmons at St Helens, will now take up his new role as Anderson’s assistant.