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Brown, Barrett to go head-to-head

NZN 14/04/2016 James MacSmith

Trent Barrett will go head-to-head with former teammate and mentor Nathan Brown in the NRL coaching stakes next week with his Manly side hit by further injury woes.

The relationship between Sea Eagles coach Barrett and his Newcastle opposite Brown will be forever framed by the latter's infamous faceslap on the former at WIN Stadium in 2003.

Brown was then coach of the St George Illawarra and Barrett was his star playmaker.

Now 13 years later, both of them are holding the clipboard in Barrett's first season as head coach in the NRL and Brown's first back in the NRL with Newcastle after a stint in Super League.

Many in the rugby league world have had next Sunday's round eight clash between the sides at Hunter Stadium marked on their calenders.

When asked if he was looking forward to going up against Brown, Barrett replied: "Not really.

"It is another game, worth another two points. They are going okay. Newcastle are always hard to beat at home. That won't change. It is an important game for us and we have nine days to prepare for it."

Manly are certain to be without Jorge Taufua for the trip to Newcastle after he fractured his collarbone in the 22-10 loss to Parramatta on Thursday night at Brookvale Oval.

Hooker Matt Parcell (hamstring) and prop Brenton Lawrence (hip) also missed the defeat to the Eels.

They are both 50-50 for the clash with Newcastle.

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