‘Poisonous’ split forced NRL coach out

Details have emerged of a player faction at Newcastle which ultimately led to coach Nathan Brown's premature demise.

Brown walked out the door on Tuesday after coming to the conclusion he did not have the support of his playing group.

The coach reportedly confronted the senior players following Saturday's 46-4 embarrassment against Wests Tigers, and told them he would walk away if they wanted him to.

According to NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent, Brown was told on Monday to stay in the gig for the remaining two weeks of the season.

But the players were "listless" at training, and that didn't improve the following day, convincing Brown his time was up.

"Yesterday they were listless at training, and Brown was concerned which is why he made the offer to walk away," Kent said on Tuesday.

"They convinced him to stay, they said 'no, stay' .. so Brown turns up again today and rather than a bounce back in the mood of the place they are still the same.

"They play the Titans this week. The way they're going they are a chance of getting rolled."

Kent believes Brown lost the support of the senior players, and says there's a split in the group, half of which supports Brown.

"Apparently there's a split in the playing group now," he said.

"I don't think the senior players are supporting Brown, so they will fall in love with the new coach immediately. They have hitched their wagon to the new coach.

"The players who do support Brown - and I don't know who they are - but clearly there's not a strong enough personality in there to resist the new coach when he comes in."

The Daily Telegraph's Dean Ritchie said David Klemmer and Mitchell Pearce wanted Brown out and reported that an "ugly and increasing split in a poisonous Newcastle playing roster" forced his exit.

Kristian Woolf will take the reins as interim coach for the remaining two games of the season.

 

 

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