Mike Brown tips Exeter back Jack Nowell to shine for England
England full-back Mike Brown hopes Exeter back Jack Nowell will be given a chance to star in the Six Nations.
Last Updated: 03/01/14 10:22am
Brown believes the versatile 20-year-old should be included in Stuart Lancaster's Elite Player Squad for the tournament as England deal with a host of injury problems.
Marland Yarde, Ben Foden, Christian Wade and Manu Tuilagi are all currently sidelined with long-term injuries, while fitness doubts remain over Brad Barritt and Joel Tomkins.
Harlequins full-back Brown has been impressed with Nowell's form for Exeter and England Saxons, and he is confident the youngster is the right man to fill the void.
"It's great to see guys coming through, and showing they can replicate it on the big stage," Brown said. "Jack Nowell has been playing extremely well in the last few weeks, especially in the two Heineken Cup games against Toulon.
"So 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.
"So it's great for English rugby just to see these guys coming through and putting their hand up."
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."
Brown broke into the England side in 2007 before going four years without a call-up, but he is now first-choice full-back under Lancaster and was named England's best player during the autumn internationals.
"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 English 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."