Brown backs rep selections

With all the talk surrounding Representative Round his weekend, nib Newcastle Knights coach Nathan Brown today said it was a great opportunity for his players to earn some additional experience.

“Anytime players go into a rep situation I think it’s good for them, especially if the sides they go and play with have got some seasoned professionals that can help them improve their game,” explained Brown.

Several Knights headed out of town this week, including the Mata’utia and Saifiti brothers, who are preparing for the Pacific Tests in Sydney.

“For us if you looked at the two Saifiti boys for example, Sione (Mata’utia) is going to Samoa, at the end of the day they’re all 20-year-old kids,” commented Brown.

“These experiences are great for them but I would have had a different approach if I had a much more seasoned team that was a likely chance of looking to win a grand final.

Meanwhile Nathan Ross and Pauli Pauli have been named in the City side for the final City v Country showdown.

The Knights coach said despite Pauli not playing any NRL so far this year, it will provide him with great exposure.

“From our point of view and Pauli’s (Pauli) point of view it’s great,” said Brown.

“Pauli is obviously four games back from that horrific car accident, he’s not far off first grade, his form has got better from week to week which is pleasing.

“At the end of the day Pauli has got rewarded. When he got his hip injury, we were all worried where he’d get to weight wise but he lost maybe 10 or 12 kilos during his rehabilitation.

“You hope they get to mix with good professionals, it’s the key for our squad.

“Rory (Kostjasyn) hasn’t played yet but the effect he’s had, Jamie Buhrer’s effect on our squad has been unbelievable so any time the younger ones can go mix it with the top end seasoned professionals, it’s a great reward for us.”