CLARENCE+: Brown and Smith's remarkably similar path

12th October 2017 5:00 AM
NRL - Fan Day at ANZ Stadium . NRL coaches ( L to R ) Neil Henry , Brian Smith , Nathan Brown, Matthew Elliott and Des HAsler Pic;Gregg Porteous NRL - Fan Day at ANZ Stadium . NRL coaches ( L to R ) Neil Henry , Brian Smith , Nathan Brown, Matthew Elliott and Des HAsler Pic;Gregg Porteous PORTEOUS GREGG

YOU might never leave the Clarence Valley, but it never leaves you.

Do you agree? The phrase certainly rings true for two high profile rugby league coaches featured in our free biannual magazine Clarence+.

Brian Smith and Nathan Brown have forged remarkably similar paths in the rugby league world.

Both grew up in Maclean, played for the St George Dragons then enjoyed successful coaching careers with a penchant for building up clubs.

At the helm in four NRL grand finals and twice Dally M Coach of the Year, Smith is famously referred to as the best coach never to win a premiership.

Brown's point of difference is he does have a premiership to his name - with St Helens in the 2014 Super League Championship. The 44-year-old is now two years into the toughest gig in the business tasked with rebuilding the Newcastle Knights from the scrap heap.

From memories of watching their dads run out for Lower Clarence to, in Brown's case, winning The Daily Examiner Shield with Maclean High School in 1991, the pair spoke to Tim Howard about their journeys from growing up in the Clarence Valley to mentoring world class athletes for our third edition of Clarence+.

The free 32-page magazine covers a range of topics including sport, art and history with a distinct Clarence Valley flavour. It is now available to pick up from the front desk at The Daily Examiner at 55 Fitzroy St, Grafton, and copies will be rolled out to selected cafes, business houses and key centres throughout the Clarence Valley this week.