Harlequins full-back Brown has no regrets after missing out on World Cup spot

The 34-year-old was omitted from England’s final 31-man World Cup squad

By Press Association Published: 11 September 2019 - 1.26pm


Rugby Union

Mike Brown insists he has “no regrets” over the incident with Ben Te’o that could have cost him his World Cup place with England.

The Harlequins full-back was omitted from England’s final 31-man World Cup squad, but boss Eddie Jones refused to confirm whether an off-field incident with former Worcester star Te’o proved the cause.

Brown and Te’o are understood to have clashed off the field during a team bonding outing on a warm weather training camp in Treviso.

England Training Session – Pennyhill Park
Mike Brown, pictured, was omitted from England’s final World Cup squad (Adam Davy/PA)

The 34-year-old has refused to reveal all on his bust-up with Te’o in order not to unsettle the World Cup bid, but still maintained he considers himself England’s best full-back.

“We’re not in Eddie Jones’ head, so we don’t know what cost me selection, or whether I was going to get selected, whether I was close or whatever,” said Brown.

“I was in the squad of 45 and I have no regrets about anything that happened through pre-season because I gave my all.

“I came in in great shape, in the best shape of my career, I put everything I could into training, I didn’t miss one second of training, even with niggles and things like that. I’m not sure how many other players could say that.

“But it didn’t go my way. Eddie’s the boss, so who are we to argue with his selection. But I’ve got no regrets.

England v Italy – International Friendly – St James’ Park
England boss Eddie Jones, pictured, left Mike Brown out of his World Cup squad for Japan (Richard Sellers/PA)

“I didn’t get selected for England all season, so the platform I had to show how much I wanted to play for England and how much I was improving was for Quins. And I think I did that pretty well.

“I think that shows my character, wanting to bounce back. Plenty of players would have folded and just cruised through.

“But I think that shows my ambition and character, what I did for Quins.

“So that’s all I could do, and selection’s down to him (Jones).”

Asked if he had any regrets about the particular incident with Te’o, Brown added: “No, because when the details come out people will know how everyone in that situation handled themselves. And I’ve got no regrets.

Ben Te’o File Photo
Ben Te’o, pictured, and Mike Brown are said to have clashed off the field in Italy (Paul Harding/PA)

“It’s not the right time to go into full details of what happened.

“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, Eddie and the players, 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, so there will be a time and a point where I feel comfortable and the time is right to speak about what my experiences were.”

Insisting the full truth will come out after the World Cup, Brown admitted he has not spoken to Te’o since the incident.

Te’o was also omitted from England’s final World Cup squad, and has since signed a short-term deal with Toulon – before heading to Japan’s Sunwolves for next season.

Asked if he has been in touch with Te’o since the incident, Brown said: “No. He’s in France isn’t he?

“It’s obviously heartbreaking to miss out, you want to put things right from 2015.

“I’ve worked hard my whole career to be involved in these big tournaments.

“I still feel I’m the best full-back for England. If I didn’t feel that I would have stopped playing for England.

Gallagher Premiership Launch – Twickenham
Mike Brown, fourth left, poses with the trophy at the Gallagher Premiership season launch (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“But like I said selection is one man’s choice, and he’s the main man with that job, and unfortunately it didn’t go my way this time.

“I still feel I’m the best English full-back, that’s not being arrogant that’s just what I believe.

“I think everyone who was in the 45 who isn’t in Japan is on standby, that’s my understanding.”