Brown happy to fill in on the flank
January 29, 2013
Mike Brown cuts through the Saints defence for Harlequins © Getty Images
Mike Brown has paid tribute to his sprint coach Margot Wells and admits he is happy to play anywhere for England even if it means surrendering his favoured fullback spot for a place on the wing.
While Brown is more accustomed to fullback - the position he fills for Aviva Premiership champions Harlequins - he started the last two of his 11 caps against South Africa and New Zealand on the right wing. And against the All Blacks, the he flourished and was a key man in their 38-21 triumph even though he was on the flank.
"It did make me smile when (England coach) Stuart Lancaster said to me I'd be getting a chance on the wing," he said. "I've worked really hard on my pace and people still feel I'm not quick enough.
"Even after the All Blacks games when I felt I had a pretty good game on the wing, some said other people should be playing there. That's fine, whatever position I play in I want to be the best in that position. I was just really happy to get the opportunity to play. I've been working really hard over the last few years and was thankful to Stuart for giving me the chance."
And Brown has put the improvement in his pace down to the work of wells. "I see Margot three times a week and probably a bit less when I'm in England camp," Brown added. "I see her as much as I can and it's been a massive help. It's been a few years now, but it's got me here.
"I'm a lot quicker than I was before I started seeing her. She works on the technical side of speed - I run in a completely different way now to before I saw her."
It is unclear who Lancaster will start against Scotland at fullback in England's Six Nations opener on Saturday with Alex Goode, Ben Foden and Brown in the mix, but Brown is adamant that he will play anywhere for England.
"I'll play any position if it means pulling on the white jersey and running out at Twickenham," Brown said. "I play fullback for Quins. That's my favourite position and is where I want to play, but I'll take it on the wing. I'll keep working hard and hopefully I'll get an opportunity at full-back. The positions are interchangeable in the modern game."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.