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From Chris Jones
BBC rugby union correspondent
Mike Brown says that it was”dreadful” to overlook England’s Rugby World Cup squad and believes he is still the nation’s greatest full-back.
Even the 34-year-old, that won the final of his own 72 caps was included in pre-World Cup training camps but wasn’t appointed in Eddie Jones’ 31-man group.
“I tried to put everything I had on the practice area, but it wasn’t enough in the end,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“That’s the nature of team sport and selection – it is one person’s view.”
Brown continue played for England but he thinks he remains capable of performing at the maximum degree.
“I really feel like I am the best English full-back, also that I think I demonstrated that last season,” he said.
“I think my game is evolving and changing all of the time, along with my body feels good.
“All I can do is show to the area the player I am and also the character I am. That’s what I did last year [to get Harlequins], so that I shall just keep going.”
Brown was involved in an off-the-field altercation with centre Ben Te’o through a team social on a coaching camp in Treviso, but is unwilling to go for the remainder of the squad.
Both Te’o and Brown were dropped out of the squad shortly afterwards, although head coach Jones has yet to explain whether the episode had some bearing on their axing.
“I really don’t feel comfortable going into details when the guys over there are preparing for a massive tournament,” Brown explained.
“People that are near me – my friends and family, the people who truly matter – know what happened and that’s the most crucial thing for me.
“There will be a time when I will talk about what happened. But at the moment I have attempted to stick to the team ethos.
“It is 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 still not likely to play for England but reflects fondly on the highs and lows of an international career.
“It is remarkable. For almost any soccer player it’s the best job on the planet,” he said.
“We have paid very nicely and we expect to experience such awesome things doing this particular job.
“But what comes with that is the scrutiny and the frustration of working really hard and never getting selected for something. But that’s the nature of it.”
Brown says he has no regrets about anything that went insisting he did all he could to get selection.
“I went into pre-season peaks at the very best shape I’ve ever been in, and trained every second of every minute. So I don’t have any regrets whatsoever about the past year,” he further added.
“On the plus side it has given me some wonderful memories and excellent time with my family, getting to spend additional time with my kid and my wife, that I haven’t managed to do over the previous eight years.
“You must appear at these advantages. I have come to be with my Quins team-mates, which is difficult to do when you are playing for England.
“I would love to have been engaged with England, but I must go to the [pre-season bonding] trip to Ibiza together with the Quins men, and be a part of an environment which has grown really powerful.”
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