Playing for England Saxons gave Mike Brown the platform to break into the Elite Squad, including three starts in South Africa spanning 2007 to date. The day after the first Test against the Springboks in Durban in June this year, Mike was ruled out of the tour through a fracture and ligament damage to his right thumb sustained when he attempted to prevent South Africa’s second try by Jean de Villiers. Mike had played against the Springboks at Bloemfontein and Pretoria six years ago on his first senior tour and against New Zealand at Auckland the following summer.
He made a strong impression for the Saxons a few months before his initial international call. Four years on from then, he scored a Saxons’ try in the 45-17 victory over Italy A at Worcester and added two against the USA in the Churchill Cup match in June 2011. That May, he had become an Amlin Challenge Cup winner when Harlequins beat Stade Français 19-18 in Cardiff and was also voted the Players’ Player of the Season.
Mike was in prime form in 2011-12, helping Harlequins to win the Premiership title for the first time and scoring 12 tries in his first 27 matches that included five in six Heineken Cup games.
Between his Test caps, Mike was ever-present in 2007-08 for Harlequins in the Premiership, having more game time than any other player in the league. He showed his maturity and appeared in 30 matches that season and missed only two games.
He had been a member of the England U21 squad that achieved a Grand Slam in 2006, having been born in Southampton and educated at Peter Symonds College in Winchester and Wyvern College, Salisbury.
Mike joined the local club’s U8 team, represented Dorset & Wilshire from U14 – U18 and the South West U18 and Hampshire U20. He joined Harlequins Academy in 2002-03 and later established himself as a regular choice for their A League team.
A try-scorer on his 19-minute senior debut against Doncaster Knights in October 2005, he started his first match against Coventry the following week. That season, he ran in seven tries in 13 National One games. He was the club’s young player of the year in 2005-06 and their player of the year the following season. By Mid November this year, Mike had amassed a remarkable 66 tries in his 194 appearances having signed a contract last September that extends to 2014.
It was great to win the first of our QBE Internationals matches on Saturday against Fiji. There are things that we did well as a team and some we need to improve on ahead of the next game, but overall we are pleased.