A grand final win is something that former Knight Riley Brown is hopeful for in the future, but for the time being the young utility is focused on a positive start to the season, earning a run on spot for the Roosters at hooker. Walking away from the Newcastle Knights last season after the Brian Smith clean-out, Brown is now man ready to start again.
The 23-year-old Queenslander has impressed his coach, Brad Fittler in pre-season training and shown form in the trial matches strong enough to earn him a spot in the starting team for Friday nightâ€™s NRL season opener against South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.
Brown came to the Roosters from Newcastle to fill the gap left following the departure of Craig Wing and Heath Lâ€™Estrange from the club, and Fittler could not be happier with the hookerâ€™s attitude.
â€œRiley was one of the only players not to miss a session in pre-season,â€ Fittler said. â€œHeâ€™s in the starting team because heâ€™s got the spot and once youâ€™ve got the spot people have to get it off you.â€
â€œHeâ€™s a pleasure to coach, he comes with the same attitude every day. Heâ€™s unassuming and just goes about his business, and it was this attitude that has got him a jumper for the first game.â€
â€œHe gets to play hooker and heâ€™s done a fair bit of work over the pre-season so weâ€™ll see how he goes,â€ he said.
Brown is pleased to be in the run-on side for his debut game for his new club and is especially excited to be playing in the local derby.
â€œIâ€™m absolutely pumped for it,â€ Brown said. â€œFridayâ€™s game against the Rabbitohs is a big match and one Iâ€™m looking forward to.â€
â€œI trained hard in pre-season and itâ€™s obviously paid off. I try hard all the time so itâ€™s good to get in the team,â€ he said.
â€œIâ€™m not nervous yet but Iâ€™m sure as kick-off gets closer itâ€™ll start to kick in.â€