Parramatta Eels half Dylan Brown is hoping to face his NRL idol ‘Uncle Benji’ when the game resumes later this month.
The Eels five-eighth returned to training with the rest of the team last Wednesday, after a six-week hiatus due to the coronavirus.
The new 2020 draw hasn’t been released yet, but Brown says he’s heard whispers the Eels’ first battle back will be against Benji Marshall’s Wests Tigers.
“It’s a very special honour to play against him whenever I can. It is pretty cool,” Brown said.
“He likes it (being called uncle). He calls me ‘neph’. It is a back and forth thing. Benji is good, he likes helping the young ones,” he said.
Brown was inspired by the veteran half from an early age, when his school teacher read the class Marshall’s book.
“For me to end up sharing the stories and then playing against him was cool.”
The exciting 19-year-old was last season sidelined for an extended period with back issues.
He said it’s now a thing of the past with physio and Pilates being a big help.
“I’ve basically gone past my back problem stage, so Pilates is more of a maintenance thing just to keep my core strong,” Brown said.
“It’s actually not just me, so many of the boys in our club enjoy it.
“Trent Elkin (Eels Head Strength & Conditioning Coach) has put us through some good sessions lately so we’re all pretty strong at the moment to be honest,” he said.