‘I’m loving my rugby’: Mike Brown speaks out after England omission

Mike Brown intends to let his performances on the pitch do the talking as he looks to put his England omission behind him to focus on helping Harlequins’ top flight renaissance.

The 33-year-old full-back has won 72 caps for his country but was dropped for the first time in the Eddie Jones era for England’s four November autumn internationals last year.

And while he was named in the Red Rose training squads during the Six Nations Championship, his exile from the matchday 23 continued as Wasps’ Elliot Daly kept hold of the No.15 shirt.

But with Harlequins flying in the Premiership under new boss Paul Gustard, Brown insists his main focus is on doing his job for his club as he lets his England fate take care of itself.

“I’m just focused on playing well for Harlequins, I have been performing well all season and I will just let my performances do the talking,” said Brown, speaking on behalf of Land Rover.

“We’re in a good position at the moment and we’re doing our best to chase down the guys ahead of us in the league, but like I said we’re in a good position.

“I’m a big part of that, so that’s all I can do. You always think about representing England, it’s been a dream of mine since I was five years old and that never changes.

“You have to do a job for your club and I’m really enjoying playing for Guzzy [Paul Gustard] and the other coaches, what he has done since he has been brought in is brilliant.

“What he expects in terms of work rate shows in our game and I’m really enjoying working under him and playing for Quins, I think that shows in the way I’m playing with a smile on my face.

“I’m trying things in training and in games and I feel like I’ve taken my game to a new level this season in terms of what I’ve done over the last couple of years.”

Brown was full-back for England when the host nation crashed out of the World Cup in the pool stages in 2015 and time is running out for him to earn his shot at redemption in Japan.

But Brown is not interested in his competition for the starting England full-back slot, instead he just wants to ensure he is living up to his own high performance standards week in, week out.

“Elliot Daly is a really good player so for me it’s just about working on my game and playing well for Quins like I have been doing and everything else will take care of itself,” he said.

“I have competition, my competition is in my head, what I’m doing. I am my own competition, I push myself hard and I have done since day one.

“That’s why I’ve got myself to this position in my career, the most capped full-back ever, most capped England full-back at this moment in time so I’ll continue to push myself.”

Brown was speaking as he and fellow Premiership Rugby players from Saracens and Harlequins were leading a coaching session on behalf of Land Rover at Beaconsfield RFC, putting London rivalries to one side, in aid of supporting grassroots rugby.

Copyright: James Robinson

Harlequins take on Saracens at the London Stadium this weekend knowing that they could close the gap to the reigning champions, in second, to just five points with a bonus-point win.

And Brown, Harlequins’ most-capped player of all time, believes that Quins are more than capable of not just finishing in the top four – but winning the title they last held in 2012.

“I’m loving my rugby,” he said. “The last couple of years have been tough for Quins but we have moved on from that under Guzzy and I’m really loving playing for Quins in terms of what I can do.

“We’re in a good place at the moment, but there is so much more potential in this team and that’s something I want to be a part of so I’ll keep trying to drive the team.

“We’re in the league to win it and I’m sure every team will say the same. No one is in it to just make up the numbers and we’re in a good position at the moment.”

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Feature image copyright: James Robinson.

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