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Brown doesn't regret Uate trade with Manly

NZN 6/06/2017

Newcastle coach Nathan Brown has no regrets trading away Akuila Uate to Manly despite the former Knights winger rekindling his best form at the Sea Eagles this season.

The Knights recruited current co-captain Jamie Buhrer from Brookvale last October in a player swap with Uate, who had played just ten games in the Hunter in 2016.

But the former Kangaroos international has found a new lease of life on the northern beaches this year, playing all 12 games so far and scoring seven tries.

And ahead of Friday's clash against the Sea Eagles, Brown insists he still made the right move.

"It was a decision that worked out well for us. We got Jamie Buhrer and we needed his leadership. 'Choccy', a change of club was good for him," Brown told reporters on Tuesday.

"I think everyone would agree, it is the best footy Choccy has played for a lot of years."

Brown denied Uate would come out at Lottoland with a point to prove to his old club, where the first 171 games of his career were over nine seasons.

The 29-year-old scored 110 tries in Knights colours.

"It's great to see him going well. I don't think Choc will be out to prove a point. I think Choc will do what he does best," Brown said.

"He gets into some broken field, he's as good a sight as anyone. He carries the ball great. Him and Jorge (Taufua) have both had great years, which is a good indication of how they're going."

While Uate will line-up against his old club for the first time, Buhrer remains sidelined by a fractured foot suffering during a freak training accident back in April.

The Knights second-rower this week began light running after shedding his moon boot, however Brown played down any chance of a return earlier than the targeted round 15.

"Boot's off and light training so that's great. We won't know how he's going for another few weeks, but if he's out of the boot, it's a lot better than where he was a week ago," he said.

"It's more the process of getting his foot going and running and not overloading it too early.

"I'm not sure how long the process will take, but it's one injury that we have to take a little bit more cautiously because if you do re-injure it then it's the end of the year for him."

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