HUDDERSFIELD coach Nathan Brown has been labelled "ignorant and insulting" after criticising Australia-raised player Ian Henderson’s call-up by England boss Steve McNamara.
Brown, an Australian who is in his fourth season in Super League, was scathing of McNamara’s decision to name the Catalan Dragons hooker in his elite training squad ahead of this year’s internationals, especially at the expense of in-form Giants hooker Luke Robinson.
Although Henderson was born in Torquay and represented Scotland in the 2008 World Cup after qualifying through his Glasgow-born father, Brown is adamant that he should not play for England.
He said: "If something looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a duck, isn’t it?
"He looks Aussie and talks Aussie so I suppose he is an Aussie."
Henderson said he was disgusted by Brown’s "close-minded" views, while Brown was also criticised by former Huddersfield and England coach Tony Smith.
Henderson said: "I am English. I was born in England, my mother is English and my father is Scottish. Every single member of our family, sister, brothers, cousins and extended relatives were born in Great Britain.
"I moved to Australia when I was five years old and our parents brought us up in British tradition.
"My brothers and myself all returned to England to live and play and for Nathan Brown to question my family’s commitment to this country is ignorant and insulting.
"I am proud of being English and my family is proud of our heritage dating back hundreds of years in this country."
Smith, another Australian in charge of Warrington, believes Brown was out of order with his comments and says he intends to speak to his fellow countryman.
"I’ve been on both sides," said Smith. "We’ve all got opinions and we’re a little bit biased towards our own players.
"I’m just not sure how productive it is when we start telling each other who we should select or recruit.
"Personally, I think it’s fine for me to promote my players to Steve but I don’t think it’s my job to say who he shouldn’t pick.
"If you come out and say my player is better than another player I don’t think it’s a healthy respect for one another as coaches.
"I also think it’s getting very close to some things that shouldn’t be said."