Sun 11 Aug 2019 | 03:35

Why Brown should be on the plane to Japan

Why Brown should be on the plane to Japan
Sun 11 Aug 2019 | 03:35
Why Brown should be on the plane to Japan

Former England captain Phil Vickery expects Ben Te’o to miss out on World Cup selection after a fracas with Mike Brown during the team’s training camp in Italy last week.

Former NRL star Te’o and Brown have been dropped from England’s squad for Sunday’s visit of Wales to Twickenham, in a match staged 24 hours before Eddie Jones finalises his 31-man World Cup squad.

Jones has refused to confirm or deny any incident took place, but PA understands the pair clashed at a social event during the squad’s heat and humidity training camp in Treviso last week.

Asked if he now expects Te’o to make the final squad, Vickery told BBC Five Live’s Sportsweek program: “If you had said to me this question a few months ago, when you look at the way Eddie has continuously gone to him despite having had his troubles at Worcester, not playing, his size and physicality, I would have said 100 percent yes.

“After what’s happened, I think it’s going to be a no, I don’t think he’ll be in.”

Vickery also cast doubt over Brown’s likely involvement, but said he still wanted to see the Harlequins full-back on the plane to Japan.

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“He’s divisive, certainly he rubs people up the wrong way,” he said. “Love him or hate him, I think he’s a wonderful rugby player. He cares about what he does, that’s what I love about him.

“I would love to see him go to the Rugby World Cup. I think he can give an awful lot to this England team in the high stakes [games].

“Will he go? I’m not sure. Do I want him to go? Yes, I do.”

Vickery also criticised England’s handling of the matter, particularly Jones’ refusal to acknowledge there was an issue at all.

“I’m not a PR expert but we like to hear about the integrity of our game,” he said. “Honesty, integrity, passion, pride. [They should say] there has been an altercation and the two players involved are disappointed in themselves, whatever it may have been.

“But just to say ‘I can neither confirm nor deny’… obviously something’s happened. Let’s just come out and put it to bed because it just creates a whole other layer of uncertainty and cloud.”

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Why Brown Should Be On The Plane To Japan - England | Rugby365