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Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Friday, 16 January 2009

England 'need longer off season'

Nathan Brown
Brown says he experienced far longer preparation time in Australia

England need a longer close season if they are to compete with Australia, Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown claims.

Brown, who had 15 years experience with St George Illawarra in the NRL, said a longer break would allow players to recover better for the new campaign.

"Ideally, for the game over here to advance, they need to have more time to let the players develop," said Brown.

England had a disastrous World Cup last year, losing three out of four games and failing to reach the final.

The Super League season starts on 6 February, five weeks before Australia's NRL even though the two competitions end their campaigns at similar times.

"It's a lot shorter preparation than I'm used to. Back home, we have six weeks before Christmas and six weeks after before we play our first game," said the 35-year-old Giants boss.

606: DEBATE
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"That's why Australia are where they are. The guys who played [in the World Cup] will get six weeks of pre-season before they play, whereas the English guys go back after Christmas, train for a week or two and then start playing so they don't get a good chance to prepare their bodies.

"If they want to challenge Australia and New Zealand, that's what they've got to do. But at least everyone is on a level field over here so no one has an advantage."

Huddersfield appointed Brown last July following the sacking of Jon Sharp, and he is looking forward to an exciting new season.

"The game is so different over here," he said. "It's much more open, more free-flowing. Back home it's become very defence-orientated and a lot of people are a bit more bored with the game.

"Here it's more attractive and there's an opportunity to play with more width so it's actually more exciting. I'm looking forward to that part of the game."

Brown said Huddersfield would continue to look for an alternative to Todd Carney after the Giants had to abandon their plans to sign the controversial Australian stand-off when he was refused a visa.

Carney was sacked by Canberra last summer after a series of alcohol-related incidents and banned from playing in the NRL until 2010.

Huddersfield have also pulled out of a move for Greg Bird who is likely to join Bradford after being released by Cronulla.

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see also
Huddersfield abandon Carney deal
08 Jan 09 |  Huddersfield
We let country down - Calderwood
13 Jan 09 |  Rugby League
England 24-36 New Zealand
08 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
Australia 52-4 England
02 Nov 08 |  Rugby League
England 32-22 Papua New Guinea
25 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Brown appointed new Giants coach
18 Jul 08 |  Huddersfield


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