Nathan Brown locked in as Knights coach

Danny Buderus’ role at Newcastle remains up in the air as Nathan Brown was confirmed as the Knights new NRL coach on Wednesday.

Brown was formally announced as the wooden spooners’ new head coach – almost a week after Knights chairman Brian McGuigan said in a radio interview that Brown had got the job.

The 42-year-old former St George Illawarra mentor signed a three-year contract until the end of 2018 after the club’s board approved the recommendation.

Brown returned to Australia this year after six years coaching Huddersfield and St Helens in the English Super League and joined the Melbourne Storm as a coaching consultant.

“Nathan’s technical expertise is strong and he has an understanding of Newcastle and the competitive advantages that lie in our region,” Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said in a statement.

However, the Knights weren’t able to state what club legend Buderus – who was interim coach for the last six games of the season after Rick Stone’s sacking – would be doing next year.

Speaking after Newcastle lost 30-12 to Penrith on Saturday, Buderus said he was open to working under Brown.

There was no rush to lock in Brown’s assistants on Wednesday, although Gidley last week said part of the new coach’s role would be to continue to develop Buderus as a future head coach.

“Buderus will remain a key member of the club and confirm his role moving forward following discussions with Brown,” the Knights statement added.

Brown played 172 games for St George and St George-Illawarra before taking over as coach of the Dragons in 2003 at the age of 29.

He had the job until 2008 and then took off to England, where the highlight was taking St Helens to the 2014 Super League championship.

“After coaching for six years in England, which was about gaining experience to come back and get a job in the NRL, I am really excited about the opportunity to coach such a great club,” Brown said.

“No doubt it is going to be a challenge, and it is one that I am quite experienced at in regards to rebuilding a club. That makes this the ideal time.”

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