Harlequins' Mike Brown winning fitness race for England's first Test against New Zealand
Last Updated: 22/05/14 3:22pm
Mike Brown: Harlequins full-back has recoved from a hip injury
England have been given a boost ahead of their first Test against New Zealand after Mike Brown declared himself fit for the series opener on 7 June.
Less than 24 hours after it emerged that Bath fly-half George Ford will miss the tour to undergo shoulder surgery, Brown said he expects to be available to face the All Blacks.
The 28-year-old Harlequins full-back suffered a hip injury in the defeat by Saracens on Saturday, but is on track to resume training at the start of next week.
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England depart for New Zealand on Tuesday and by the time they run-out at Eden Park, Brown expects to be fit to continue an outstanding season.
"It's a deep hip muscle injury," said Brown. "I gave everything a big yank when I was twisted in the tackle on that turf. I overstretched it all.
"It's feeling good each day. A bit more recovery and on Monday I'll be ready to rock and roll in training. It's definitely looking good for that first Test.
"I've had the same problem before after tough games, but to a lesser extent, so I know how to get rid of it and what I need to do.
"I've got great people around me to help me get fit and I can't wait to get out to New Zealand."
England will attempt to complete a maiden series triumph in New Zealand having posted only two previous victories there in 12 attempts dating back to 1963.
But Brown is confident on the team's chances of toppling the all-conquering All Blacks.
"I don't see why we can't win this series. We've put in two good performances against New Zealand, beaten them once and narrowly lost once," Brown said.
"It will be unbelievably tough playing the number one team on their home patch.
"They'll come flying into us and the fact we're missing a few guys for that first Test makes it even harder for us.
"But there are guys who will come in and will be desperate to show what they can do in an England shirt."