Nu Brown targets Super League with Featherstone Rovers after overcoming huge injury setback
HE WAS told a foot injury would prevent him from ever playing rugby league again at the age of 25 but new Featherstone Rovers signing Fa’amanu Brown was never going to lie down and accept that.
Surgeons told him the bone in his foot was only receiving a limited blood supply which meant that it would be a struggle to grow new bone.
However, the 26-year-old is now keen to prove himself by helping Featherstone reach Super League.
He started his career in the NRL with Cronulla Sharks in 2014 before moving on to Canterbury Bulldogs ahead of the 2018 campaign.
He was released by the club at the end of 2019 but did agree to join Featherstone if their 2020 campaign resumed.
The season was eventually curtailed due to Covid-19 but Brown has arrived at Post Office Road this year full of belief the squad is strong enough to reach Super League.
“There is no doubt that we can definitely get promoted and that is the main goal,” he said.
On his journey back from a potentially career-ending injury, he added: “I have had a lot of setbacks. I have had surgeons tell me I wasn’t going to play rugby league again.
“It got to the point where I had to see six different surgeons on my last operation because none of them wanted to touch my foot and they wanted me to get a bone fusion.
“That would’ve meant I couldn’t have run again but I have proved them wrong.
“After being given the news about my foot, I just cried. It felt like all my hard work was about to go to waste.
“For me, at the age of 25 I was thinking I would have to move on with life. I am lucky that I have got a second chance and that my body has recovered.
“I don’t come from much, it is in my DNA to not give up and prove a point. To make it out of a poor area and out of poverty, that is where my strength comes from.”
Brown, who can play stand-off, scrum-half or hooker, is set to play for the first time in 18 months when Featherstone host Oldham in a pre-season friendly on Saturday afternoon.
After adjusting to the cold weather and back into regular training, Brown feels he has settled in well at the club.
“It has been a year for everyone else but it has been about a year and a half for me,” he said.
“I was a bit rusty the first two weeks but I have started to find my feet.
“This week will be my first game. I don’t know where the coach will put me but I will do my job and what is best for the team.”
New Zealand-born Brown played for Samoa five times between 2016 and 2017 and could get the chance to represent his country again at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.
“To represent your country is a dream come true,” he said.
“To know you are playing for your nation, it is one of the greatest achievements for anyone.
“If that chance comes again, I would be forever grateful but I am not thinking about it too much.”
Brown has been given the number nine shirt and recently contracted Covid-19 but has now made a full recovery.
He added: “I had fever, body shakes for two days and then started to lose my taste and smell but I am fine now.”