Rugby World Cup: I’m still England’s best full-back – Mike Brown

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From Chris Jones
BBC rugby union correspondent
Mike Brown says that it was”dreadful” to miss out on England’s Rugby World Cup squad also thinks he is still the country’s best full-back.
The 34-year-old, that won the last of his own 72 caps was involved in pre-World Cup training camps but was not appointed in Eddie Jones’ group.
“I attempted to put everything I had on the coaching field, but it wasn’t sufficient in the end,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“That is the nature of team game and selection – it is 1 man’s view.”
Brown continue played for England but he believes he remains capable of performing at the highest degree.
“I feel as if I’m the greatest English full-back, also that I believe I showed that last year,” he explained.
“I still think my game is evolving and changing all the time, along with my body feels great.
“All I can do is show on the area that the player I am and the character that I am. That is exactly what I did last year [for Harlequins], therefore I will just keep going.”
Brown was involved through a team social on a coaching camp in Treviso in an altercation with centre Ben Te’o, but is still reluctant to go into details out of respect .
Both Brown and Te’o were lost from the squad shortly after, although head coach Jones has yet to clarify whether the episode had some bearing in their axing.
“I don’t feel comfortable going into specifics once the guys over there are preparing for a massive tournament,” Brown explained.
“People that are close to me – my family and friends, the ones who really matter – know what happened and that’s the most significant thing for me personally.
“There is going to be a time when I will speak about what happened. But at the moment I have tried to adhere to the team ethos.
“It’s not for me to draw away attention [from England's World Cup preparations] and talk about other things that went .”
Having just turned 34, Brown is not likely to play for England again, but reflects on a worldwide career’s highs and lows.
“It’s remarkable. For any rugby player it is the best job in the world,” he explained.
“We get paid very nicely and we all get to see such awesome things doing this particular job.
“But what comes with that is the examination as well as the heartache of working so hard and never getting chosen for something. But that is the nature of this.”
Brown also says he has no regrets about anything that went in the training camps, insisting he did all he could to get selection for the showpiece in Japan.
“I went to pre-season camps in the very best shape I’ve ever been intrained each second of every moment. So I have no regrets whatsoever about the past year,” he added.
“On the plus side it’s given me some amazing memories and quality time with my family, getting to spend more time with my son and my spouse, which I haven’t been able to do over the last eight decades.
“You have to appear at those advantages. I have become with my Quins team-mates, which is tough to do when you’re currently searching for England.
“I’d like to have been engaged with England, however I got to go around the [pre-season bonding] trip to Ibiza using the Quins guys, and be part of an environment which has grown extremely powerful.”
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