Mike Brown is looking to raise his game in the QBE Internationals
Last Updated: 01/11/13 12:36pm
Mike Brown: England's last line of defence
Harlequins fullback Mike Brown has been a shining light in a Quins side which has struggled this season and England boss Stuart Lancaster has been suitably impressed.
With Saracens' Alex Goode the preferred choice for England in last year's QBE Internationals and the Six Nations, Brown found himself plying his trade on the left wing for England. However, England boss Stuart Lancaster has not been able to ignore Brown's form this year and he starts in the No.15 jersey against Australia on Saturday.
"I'm happy where I am at the moment - I feel that I am playing better than I was last year and have really worked hard on all aspects of my game," Brown told skysports.com.
"I have worked hard with Mike Catt to work on my kicking to make sure that my left foot is a viable option. I have also worked hard on my speed and on getting into the right position and continue to work hard on my counter-attacking.
"Fullback is different to the wing - I enjoyed playing there and learnt a lot but fullback is where I want to play. Playing on the wing has definitely given me a better understanding of what is needed - from a No.15 perspective and from the two wingers as well. My experience will definitely benefit and enhance my fullback role.
"I have always backed my own game but I do want to reach the heights of Leigh Halfpenny and Israel Dagg - those are the two who stand out in my mind when you talk about world class 15's. But I have belief in my ability and believe I can reach that level."
As well as fulfilling his own potential, Brown is excited about the potential in the England squad and believes they can become one of the best teams in the world.
"The excitement in the squad is really good," added the 28-year-old.
"The new boys are settling in well and we have a great culture that Stuart has set up. Everyone wants to work hard for each other and for themselves on and off the field. It's great to see everyone pushing for places - there is a great competition which is what you want in the England set-up.
"It is massively important that we build on what we have achieved so far. We want to be one of the best teams in the world and have the chance to really test ourselves and see where we are over the next three weeks."
As well as taking on Australia, England will also face Argentina and New Zealand and Brown says it is crucial that England stick to their game plan and make sure they dictate how the game is played.
"It sounds simple but it's not - especially against teams like New Zealand who are so comfortable with or without the ball," he said. "We will look at how we play the game and look at our strengths - we will review our opponents and look at how to nullify their strengths and attack their weaknesses.
"We need to stick to our structures and our roles and look to dictate the way the game is going.
Brown continued: "We are looking to win all three of these games.
"As a rugby player you want to test yourself against the best and you want to be the best - we know what we have to do to get those wins and achieve our goals of being the best"
Get the latest behind-the-scenes news from Mike Brown and his England teammates with O2 Inside Line, the weekly show from O2 - proud sponsor of England Rugby - and the RFU, at www.O2InsideLine.com