PARAMATTA EELS (2019-2022)
21/06/2000 - AUCKLAND
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Northland product Dylan Brown became recognised as one of the NRL’s premier five-eighths at Parramatta before making his Test debut in 2022 as New Zealand returned to the international arena for the first time in three years.

Auckland-born Brown was a Hikurangi Stags junior but moved to Sydney aged 15, attending renowned rugby league breeding ground Hills Sports High School and moving through the Eels’ ranks. He steered Parramatta’s SG Ball to a title in 2017 and featured in the club’s NYC grand final loss to Manly later that year, while injury forced him to withdraw from the Australian Schoolboys squad.

After playing Jersey Flegg and NSW Cup the following season, Brown made his NRL debut in the opening round of 2019 aged just 18 and was hailed as one of the game’s hottest playmaking properties. His rookie campaign was interrupted by injury but he nevertheless made 15 appearances – including two finals matches.

A classy ball-player with an incisive running game and rock-solid defence, Brown continued to developed for the high-flying Eels in 2020-21, passing his 50-game milestone in the NRL soon after his 21st birthday and playing in two further finals campaigns.

The prodigiously talented tyro’s inevitable ascent to Kiwis status was delayed by COVID-19, but he was virtually an automatic choice to debut in the mid-2022 Test against Tonga at Mt Smart Stadium. Brown had a blinder in his maiden international outing, producing two try-assists as well as racking up 94 metres and 27 tackles in a 26-6 victory.

Brown was an integral component of Parramatta’s drive to its first grand final in 13 years, playing all 28 games in a campaign that ultimately ended in defeat to Penrith in the decider. Two major career milestones ticked off in the previous few months, he headed to England as one of the Kiwis’ World Cup spearheads.

The 22-year-old featured in four matches at the tournament, scoring his first Test try against Lebanon and dotting down again in a sizzling individual performance in the valiant semi-final loss to Australia as a decade-long tenure in the New Zealand line-up beckoned.

A suspension for an off-field incident restricted Brown to 17 NRL appearances during the Eels’ disappointing follow-up campaign in 2023, but he returned at the back-end of the season to shape as a vital cog in the Kiwis’ Pacific Championship campaign.

Brown revelled in the international arena once again, running for 193 metres in the 50-0 win over Samoa and bouncing back from unwarranted criticism from the Australian media in the wake of the Kiwis’ 36-18 loss to Australia in Melbourne, setting up two tries and running for 129 metres in a 30-0 pasting of the Kangaroos in the final.


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