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Eels' Brown wanted to clean up dirty name

NZN 5/06/2017 Scott Bailey

Parramatta forward Nathan Brown admits a desire to overturn an ugly reputation has propelled his career-best form at the Eels this NRL season.

Brown has been one of the Eels' best since arriving from South Sydney at the start of the year, bringing with him a status of being one of the game's most ill-disciplined players.

The 24-year-old found himself in hot water last season after he appeared to stomp on a rival's groin, while he was also charged for a late shot on then Wests Tigers' five-eighth Mitchell Moses.

It came three years after he was embroiled in a massive under-20s brawl at the Tigers, where he had to be held back by his own trainers just weeks after the NRL introduced the no-punching policy.

And while Brown said he never wanted to take much notice of the dirty perception that followed him, he has matured since arriving at the Eels.

"You've got to learn from what you've done," he said.

"You don't want to be labelled those bad names in the game.

"You just want to play the game tough and hard which I like doing."

Brown's improved record at the judiciary - with no charges this season - is just one of facet of his game to have stepped up since playing under coach Brad Arthur.

The Eels lock played Friday night's game against the Warriors needled up to quell rib pain, which Arthur admitted at the match should have seen him ruled out.

However he still managed to run 182 metres as the Eels were decimated of bench players through injury, and had a hand in two of Parramatta's tries through a loopy long pass and an offload.

They were typical of the versatility Brown has shown this year, having seemingly added to his ball-playing skills while spending time during games filling in at dummy-half due to the long-term concussion injury suffered by regular rake Isaac De Gois.

"BA (Arthur) has given me the opportunity just to play football and show your skills," Brown said.

"With Will (Smith) on the bench now he comes on and plays (hooker) which is good.

"I can just come on and focus on me now. Running the ball."

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