Brown shows his class and England lay down a marker by beating Ireland in last World Cup warm-up

England 21-13 Ireland

Mike Brown proved he is back to full fitness in time for the World Cup as he starred in England’s final warm-up victory over Ireland at Twickenham.

Quins full-back Brown was starting for England for the first time since an extended break caused by concussion but put in a typically assured performance which could secure him a starting spot against Fiji in the tournament opener on September 18.

Fellow Quins player Chris Robshaw, who will captain England, and Joe Marler also look set to start having impressed against Ireland.

After losing to France in their previous warm-up, England were desperate for a win and got it thanks to tries from Jonny May and Anthony Watson, a penalty and a conversion from George Ford, and two penalties from Owen Farrell.

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“We’ve certainly remedied the issues we had against France, our discipline was better,” said coach Stuart Lancaster, while Ireland’s Joe Schmidt admitted England were a couple of steps ahead of them.

Among the 80,138 crowd was 75-year-old Norma Hagon, who achieved a lifetime ambition of watching England play at Twickenham.

She said: “It was absolutely wonderful, and great that Tom Wood was man of the match.”

Robshaw lead from the front as he smashed Ireland’s Simon Zebo with the first hit from the kick-off as England dominated for the first 15 minutes.

The domination paid off as May leapt over in the corner and Watson added another try from a superb cross-kick from fly-half Ford.

A shaky penalty from Jonathan Sexton got Ireland on the scoreboard before half time but a Ford penalty at the start of the second stretched England’s lead to 15-3.

Ireland improved and got to within two points of England thanks to another Sexton penalty and Paul O’Connell’s try.

Farrell though, on as a sub for Ford, calmly stroked over two quick penalties to kill off the game.

On Friday, England’s 2003 World Cup winners were in action in at Rugby Aid match at The Stoop, with all proceeds going to the Rugby Aid for Heroes charity supporting military personnel trying to make the transition back to civilian life.

England’s line-up include former players Jason Robinson and Mike Tindall and celebrities such as Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing and dancer Louie Spence.

The Rest of the World team, captained by former Welsh international Shane Williams, included ex-All Black Brad Thorne, Thom Evans and former Westlife member Brian McFadden.

The Rest of the World team won but for some the highlight was the thumping tackle Thorne put in on Laing, who had to go to hospital with cracked ribs.

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