- Mike Brown impressed by Jack Nowell ahead of Big Game 6 at Twickenham
- “He’s in the form to press for England place” – Brown
Photo: Getty Images
England full back Mike Brown has tipped precocious Exeter Chiefs youngster Jack Nowell for a chance with the senior side in the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations.
Brown, England’s Man of the Series in the recent QBE Internationals, believes the recent form of the England Under 20 Junior World Championship winner will place him at the forefront of Stuart Lancaster’s thinking after a host of injuries in his back division.
Marland Yarde, Ben Foden, Christian Wade and Manu Tuilagi are likely to miss the start of the tournament, with the trip to face France in Paris looming on February 1.
Harlequins’ Brown, who now has now played 21 Tests, has been impressed with Nowell's trailblazing attacking from deep for Exeter, and he is confident the 20 year-old can make the step up.
"It's great to see guys coming through, and showing they can replicate it on the big stage," said the 28 year-old. "Jack Nowell has been playing extremely well in the last few weeks, especially in the two Heineken Cup games against Toulon.
"I'm sure he'll get his opportunity. Stuart has shown that players will get their opportunity, if they deserve one.
"Unfortunately there have been some injuries, so it looks like he may get his chance in the near future, and he's certainly been in the form to push hard for that. It's great for English rugby to see these guys coming through and putting their hand up."
Photo: Getty Images
Harlequins host Exeter at Twickenham in Saturday's Big Game 6 Christmas Aviva Premiership fixture, and Brown expects the fifth-placed Chiefs to provide fierce opposition.
"Luke Arscott at full back is another who has been going well for Exeter, and they've started to play a great brand of rugby, to add to their impressive tight game," added Brown.
"It's going to be great for the spectators, to watch us chuck the ball around, go toe-to-toe."
Turning to his own role with England, Brown is proud with his progression under Lancaster after a four-year international hiatus after making his debut. He first appeared in a senior England shirt on the fateful 2007 tour to South Africa – when England shipped 113 points in two Tests – before returning to the fold as soon as Lancaster was named interim head coach for the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.
"It took a long time for me to get back in," said Brown. "I was lucky to have worked with Stuart in the Saxons so he knew what I was about and how desperate I was to get back in.
"It's great that the three to four years I was out of the England set-up, all the hard work that I put in paid off.
"It does take a lot of hard work and effort, but it's all worth it. It took a couple of years for me to get a chance at full back, I've had that now and it's about pushing on.
"No one's place in the squad is secure, and that's important. Lots of players will be looked at, and that benefits everyone, especially building towards the 2015 World Cup."
Tickets for the Big Game 6 between Harlequins and Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, December 28 are available now via RFU.com.