FA’AMANU BROWN believes his international experience can help drive the standards at his new club Hull FC.
He has packed a lot into his representative career, playing in two World Cups for Samoa and helping them reach their first final on the latter occasion, in 2022.
Last season Brown played for the country of his birth, New Zealand, for the first time, in a Pacific Championship which finished with an historic 30-0 win over Australia.
The 29-year-old acknowledges he has been a “journeyman” at club level, making more appearances for Featherstone (27) in a single season in 2021 than any other club so far in a career which has taken him to Cronulla, Canterbury (twice), Wests and Newcastle in the NRL.
But he was an eye-catching addition to this year’s Hull squad and Brown wants to play an important role.
“If I can bring the experience from the international games I’ve played in and playing at the elite level in Australia, the club will be in good hands,” he told League Express.
“My confidence is high from my time with New Zealand. If I can do that now and help our team get to that elite standard of competing, there’s no excuse not to perform.”
Brown was the interchange hooker in all three of the Kiwis’ games last autumn, after previously earning eight caps for Samoa.
“To be able to be a dual-international, I was so lucky, (first) playing for my parents, who were born in Samoa,” he said.
“I asked my dad if it was okay to play for New Zealand and he said ‘you lived mine and your mother’s dream playing for Samoa, now live your dream’.
“I grew up watching the All Blacks in rugby union. I’ve always wanted to be an All Black and the closest thing to being an All Black in Rugby League is playing for the Kiwis.”
Of the record defeat of the world champion Kangaroos, Brown added: “I couldn’t believe it!
“I remember after winning it, I sat on the field Face Timing my family after all the fans had gone and the boys were in the sheds celebrating. I just sat on the field and took it all in with my family, because it was a dream come true.”
Brown is comfortable at halfback as well as hooker, and while Jake Trueman continues to recover from an Achilles tendon injury he will likely start the season in the former role.
Asked his best position, he responded: “It’s still a mystery to me now!
“I’ve played the last two years, after Featherstone, at hooker, which is fine. I spoke to Tony (Smith, Hull coach) about it and said ‘wherever you want me to play, I’ll play’.
“Right now they need a half, but wherever Tony puts me I’ll do it with the best ability I have.
“I’m a running threat, that’s the strong part of my game. But at the same time, I can’t just turn the team around (on my own). I need the whole team to jump on board. We need to play to each other’s strengths.”