England full back Mike Brown has been figured out, claims big rival Ben Foden


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The Independent Online

Ben Foden has set his sights on regaining the England full-back position after identifying cracks in Mike Brown’s game, and he has a message for his good friend and team-mate: “may the best man win”.

Brown starts today’s final autumn international against Australia in the No 15 shirt having been Stuart Lancaster’s first-choice full-back for the past year. The Harlequins back took full advantage of his run in the side after Foden suffered ankle and knee injuries and was shifted to the wing to accommodate Brown.

But Foden believes that teams are beginning to figure out Brown, and the 29-year-old is confident of regaining his old role if he can maintain his fitness and strengthen aspects of his game.

“Browny was outstanding in the Six Nations and the autumn series before, but I think that in the summer tour he started to struggle a little bit and teams are starting to figure him out,” Foden said, speaking on behalf of the Worx DIY Christmas Campaign.

“I want him [Brown] to be doing the best he can in the 15 shirt because when I take the shirt, or hopefully take the shirt off him, I want to know that it’s through credit and not through a mistake of his or getting injured. I want to go head-to-head with him, and may the best man win.

Foden has been left out of the side that lost to New Zealand and South Africa and beat Samoa, and he knows that if he is to get back into favour under Lancaster, he must showcase his talents for Northampton.

There will be no better chance to demonstrate that than in a month’s time when Saints face Harlequins at Twickenham, where Foden will confront Brown in the Premiership. “I’ve got to play out of my skin,” adds Foden.

Northampton and England rugby player Ben Foden tries his hand at some DIY for Christmas

Ben Foden is encouraging parents to give home-made gifts this Christmas as part of the Worx DIY Christmas campaign. For more info visit Facebook.com/WorxGardenDIY