St Helens head coach Nathan Brown has admitted he’ll be sad to leave England but has played down the significance of his departure ahead of Saturday’s Grand Final.

Brown, who took over at Saints last season after leaving Huddersfield, revealed last week he would be returning to Australia after the Grand Final for family reasons. He had been in talks to become the new head coach of NRL side West Tigers but despite failing to land the job feels the time is right for him and his family to return home.

“It’s part of the job, coaches come and go, that’s the reality of it,” said the 41 year old. “I’ll be sad to be leaving England because I’ve a lot of good friends and a lot of great memories from over here. I’d rather talk about the players because that’s what it’s about at the end of the day.”

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s Old Trafford showdown, Brown added he is relishing the chance to lead out his St Helens side against local rivals Wigan, which he expects will add extra meaning to the final.

“For my last game it’s great to be involved in a Grand Final against Wigan. There is all this hatred, dislike and rivalry between the two clubs but both clubs have a similar ethos. I think both clubs respect each other a lot but there is something different about it.”

Brown has already led Saints to their first top of the table finish since 2008. Now he’s 80 minutes away from Grand Final success in what would be the perfect end to his reign as St Helens head coach.