One of a number of Wests Tigers players who will make their return from injury this weekend, prop Nathan Brown is itching to take the field against Cronulla.
Tearing his pectoral muscle in last year’s Holden Cup semi-final against Brisbane, Brown is looking to return to the form that earned him an NRL debut in Round 24 alongside halfback Luke Brooks.
The 20-year-old has been named on the bench for the NSW Cup side and will look to gain some much-needed match fitness with the season set to kick-off in just over two weeks.
“It’s really good to be back, the hard work has payed off and I can’t wait to get out there this Saturday,” Brown said. “I put in a lot of hard work in during pre-season.
“A lot of that hard work was with the rehabilitation squad and completing lots of exercises to build strength up in my pec.”
Brown sustained the pectoral muscle tear in last year’s Elimination Final victory over Brisbane at ANZ Stadium.
The team moved through to the semi-final against Canberra the following week but were eliminated 36-16, subsequently ending the 2012 premiers’ title defence.
Not only was Brown ruled out of the semi-final, the Five Dock junior’s hopes of travelling to the World Cup with Italy were also lost.
“It was pretty hard because I missed the rest of the final series and also missed out on the World Cup,” Brown said. “It was pretty devastating and it put me a couple of steps back heading into the pre-season.”
Six months down the track, Brown has set himself a simple goal for the 2014 season.
“I’m trying to cement a spot in the team and it all starts in this weekend’s trial match,” Brown said “I’m looking forward to Round 1 and fingers crossed I can stay injury-free throughout the season.”