South Africa v England, Durban
Brown keen to repay Lancaster
June 9, 2012
Mike Brown is ready for his first Test start © Getty Images
Fullback Mike Brown is keen to impress in his first England start after receiving the call-up from coach Stuart Lancaster for the first Test against South Africa in Durban.
Brown, 26, formed part of Lancaster's squad during this year's Six Nations. The Harlequins man made three appearances off the bench for England during that tournament, but is relishing the prospect of his maiden Test start.
"I am massively over the moon to be given this opportunity," said Brown. "It has been a long time since I have been here and I am just massively looking forward to it. It has been hard work getting here and I have got to repay Stuart now for putting me in."
Brown, who made his international debut against the Springboks in Bloemfontein in 2007, has been handed the No. 15 jersey as Ben Foden was shifted to the wing to replace the injured David Strettle. He is now preparing himself for what is expected to be a brutal encounter.
"I am just focused on this one game, taking each game as it comes like I have done all season with Harlequins and just trying to focus on what I need to bring to help this team get the win, concentrating on my core skills and defusing their brilliant kicking game.
"They have got a world-class kicker in (Morne) Steyn so I need to be on my mettle and focused the whole 80 minutes. I can't wait to get on the pitch and wear that 15 jersey again," Brown said.
Brown and Foden will form a back three with right wing Chris Ashton, who played as a full-back in rugby league before switching codes five years ago.
"I have got world-class players either side of me who have played so well over the last couple of years, so they will help me out and I will help them out in certain situations.
"We are all massively looking forward to the tests that they bring and can't wait to get out there. We have been working well this week but you can't tell until you get out there," Brown said.
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