Mike Brown has opened up on his fight with teammate Ben Te’o which happened shortly before he missed out on England’s Rugby World Cup squad.
The former England full back was speaking on the RugbyPass Offload podcast about the unfortunate incident that happened on a team bonding trip to Treviso in Italy.
Brown had remained coy on the fight up until now, saying it wouldn’t be right to speak about the incident while England were playing in the World Cup, but has now given his account of the night out in Italy.
The Harlequins player missed out on selection for Eddie Jones’ World Cup squad, and while he once believed the fight was responsible, he is now unsure about the reasons for his omission.
“I had just been dumped out of the World Cup squad and that [incident] happened at pretty much the same time. It felt like that what happened to me was used as an excuse not to select me, which wasn’t the case I don’t think.
“It was a situation you don’t want to find yourself in, a situation I was trying to avoid the best way I could at the time and then for it to lead into not making the World Cup squad, all of that put together it just created an incredibly tough time for me.
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“But my performances and stats for Quins were great. Like, my attack stats were the best they had ever been since I started playing rugby, so I wasn’t really sure what else I could do,” Brown explained.
‘I tried the best way I could to avoid the situation’
Brown found himself in an altercation with Te’o on the night out, explaining that the two were in a different frame of mind when the fight broke out, due to the difference in alcohol each man had consumed.
“I’m not a big drinker. It was the same case for that social… Te’o was more in with the group that wanted to get a bit loose and really enjoy the social.
“Each to their own but then you try to mix those two groups and things start to happen. The way Te’o is, he is a bit of a wind-up merchant, he likes to try and wind people up and obviously he had a few too many as well. Things then escalated.
“All I can say for myself is I tried the best way I could to avoid the situation. It would have been nice probably to have other staff and players trying to help me in that situation.
Funnily enough, the only guys that did try and help me in this situation were the young guys from Quins, (Alex) Dombrandt and March (Joe Marchant) who really stepped up to try and quash the situation before it escalated which was nice actually to see that from them,” Brown commented.
‘Te’o is a handy one with his fists’
While not explicitly saying it, the Harlequins player indicated that his former England teammate got the better of him in the fight that ensued.
“A fat black eye to go with the non-selection as well. Te’o is a handy one with his fists. He doesn’t like to do a lot of rugby training but he does a lot of boxing on the side of the pitch and he definitely showed that in what he gave me that day.
“I’m not one for massive socials but I was trying to buy into what the (England) team wanted and I was actually having a really good time just conversing with guys that I didn’t usually get to speak to on a good level.
“At the end of a tough training block, it was just a shame it ended the way it did and that was my last sort of moment being involved with England, which is a shame,” Brown said.