Fullback Mike Brown says that despite his omission from England’s World Cup Squad, he is still the best option available to coach Eddie Jones.
Brown and centre Ben Te’o were excluded from the squad after reports of a brawl between the pair at a social event in Italy last month.
Brown, who featured in the No 15 jersey during England’s dismal World Cup campaign in 2015 – and who has been a mainstay throughout Jones’ tenure as head coach – added that he is still not fully aware of what actually cost him his place on the plane to Japan.
‘It’s obviously heart-breaking to miss out,’ said Brown. ‘You want to put things right from 2015. You want to be involved in the exciting things coming up.
‘We’re not in Eddie’s head, so we don’t know what cost me selection, or whether I was going to get selected, whether I was close or whatever.’
Elliot Daly and Anthony Watson were chosen as the preferred options at fullback with Brown emphasising his disappointment at missing out on selection.
‘I’ve worked hard my whole career to be involved in these big tournaments. I still feel I’m the best fullback for England. If I didn’t feel that I would have stopped playing for England.
‘But, like I said, selection is one man’s choice. Eddie is the main man with that job, and unfortunately it didn’t go my way this time.’
After announcing his squad, Jones noted that Brown missed out because of Daly and Watson’s superior pace and attacking ability, despite Brown’s strength under the high ball – an area in which, considering the conditions, most teams will be tested come the World Cup.
‘Look at the stats, look at my game,’ continued Brown.‘I am the best under the high ball. I’ve worked so hard on that. It’s one of my points of difference.
‘I don’t need people to tell me if it is or it isn’t, I know it is.’
Choosing to not reveal the details of the altercation with Te’o, Brown admitted that he would have his say when ‘the time is right’.
‘I always try to stick to the team ethos and it wouldn’t be right for me with the guys preparing for a World Cup to start talking about things that went on during the pre-season.
‘It’s more important for them to focus on what they are doing. But obviously the World Cup won’t last forever.’
England open their World Cup campaign against Tonga on 22 September.
Picture: Kim Ludbrook/EPA