Monday 19 February 2018

Mike Brown: Twitter abuse after Conor Murray incident inspired me to perform

England's Mike Brown
England's Mike Brown

Duncan Bech

Mike Brown has revealed that the abuse he received from Welsh Twitter trolls in the build-up to Saturday's 25-21 victory inspired his best performance of the RBS 6 Nations.

Brown was targeted on social media for accidentally kicking Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray in the head a fortnight earlier as he attempted to boot the ball clear of a ruck.

The Harlequins full-back was at his most determined at Twickenham, carrying the fight to Wales 24 hours before England were crowned champions when Scotland dispatched France at Murrayfield.

"A few Welsh people wanted to jump on me after the incident with Conor Murray and it's great to have so much support around me so that I can focus on the game and not the other negative things," Brown said.

"Of course it gets to me. I'm not your usual full-back because I show my emotions and people jump on that.

"I'm aggressive and physical but I like to think I stay on the right side of the law and don't overstep the mark.

"A few of the things people have said in the last couple of weeks were not great, but it's about getting out there and showing people what I'm about.

"Social media is just life these days and it's so great to have so much support and for me I really appreciate and love it.

"The support I've had over the last few weeks has kept me upbeat and kept me going."

Wales threatened a repeat of last autumn's World Cup collision between the old rivals as they plundered three late tries against a defence that had fallen apart, but this time England held firm in the closing seconds.

The Welsh fightback sent ripples of panic through the stands at Twickenham as the demons of the defeat that set the Red Rose on the path to ruin at the global showpiece resurfaced.

Breaking ranks with team-mates and management who have refused to discuss the World Cup game, Brown has spoken of his relief at claiming at least partial redemption for that night.

"That is a line in the sand now. It was very emotional for me at the start and also for all the guys who were also involved at the end of the game," Brown said.

"They pushed us all the way at the end after starting so well and took our attack to them.

"We took our foot off the gas and let them come to us and a good team like Wales will do that and there were a few flashbacks to a certain competition last year!"

England face France in Paris on Saturday seeking a first Grand Slam since 2003.

"I have been involved for five years and I was fed of not winning anything. It doesn't count for anything coming second. We were fed up of that," Brown said.

Press Association

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