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Brown thanks Eels pre-season for strength

NZN 25/04/2017

All Parramatta forward Nathan Brown needed to fulfil his NRL potential was an injury-free pre-season.

After the early year of his career were plagued by injuries, last year's NSW City representative enjoyed a full pre-season in his first summer at Parramatta, and he is reaping the rewards.

The former Souths and Wests Tigers prop has upped his minutes on the field since signing a two-year deal with the Eels last September, and says he has enjoyed working closely with coach Brad Arthur.

"BA has given me a good opportunity, so it has been good personally," Brown said on Tuesday ahead of Friday's clash with the Cowboys in Townsville.

Brown always had the potential, but a controversial past has plagued the start of his NRL career.

He tested the NRL's no punching rule just a week into its existence in 2013 as one of the main protagonists in one of the biggest brawls in the competition's history.

Then last year he was lucky to escape suspension after an apparent stomp on the Gold Coast's Agnatius Paasi's groin.

However, he said Arthur had worked with him in controlling his agression.

"He has definitely helped me with a bit of discipline," Brown said.

"He has been really good for me and he is really good to work with."

Brown said undergoing his first full pre-season has helped his form, adding he has tried to be a frontrunner among his fellow forwards.

"I try to be a leader of the forward pack," the 24-year-old said.

"These last two weeks our forward pack has been going pretty good; they lead the platform for the backs."

Brown, who has played 37 NRL games including all eight for the Eels in 2017, has scored one try this season but has had more minutes than in any other season as he has also helped with hooking role.

Second-rower Beau Scott also said he has been impressed by Brown - who has averaged a career-high 111 metres per match this season.

"Obviously he has been thrown in to a couple of roles so far and he is playing long minutes so he has definitely been one of the consistent players in our team," Scott said.

"I think he is just a footballer. He puts his body on the line, week in and week out."

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