RBS Six Nations
England v Scotland
Today: Twickerham, 5pm
TV: RTE Two, BBC 1
Mike Brown expects his default setting of all-out commitment to remain intact despite the traumatic concussion incident that has interrupted his RBS 6 Nations.
England’s full-back was knocked unconscious in a collision with Italy’s Andrea Masi a month ago and after enduring two setbacks while observing return to play protocols he was forced to miss the defeat in Ireland.
Now fully fit and restored to the starting side for today’s game with Scotland, Brown’s mind inevitably turns to the possible after effects of an incident.
When asked if he would be wary when challenging for the next 50-50 ball, Brown said: “I don’t think so. It hasn’t been like that in training so far, although obviously that is a bit different to being in a game. The way I play, I can’t afford to do that because it would take so much away from my game.
“I’m 100% committed every time I’m going for a ball. Hopefully I will just switch into automatic mode and won’t think too much of it. We’ll see when I get out there.”
Little over a week after concussion became a major talking point when Wales wing George North was allowed to play on despite having been knocked out, Brown’s case reflected far better on a sport facing up to its single most pressing issue.
Once medics arrived, the 29-year-old was rolled on to a spinal board, regaining consciousness in the changing room before sheepishly accepting an ovation from the Twickenham crowd later.
Meanwhile Scotland centre Matt Scott has called on the Tartan Army to shake off their tag as “gallant losers” and make history by winning at Twickenham.
It is 32 years since Scotland last won at the home of English rugby and a shock victory would revive a campaign that has included defeats, albeit narrow ones, in each of their RBS 6 Nations matches so far.
Some bookmakers have Vern Cotter’s side at 9/1 to lift the Calcutta Cup and Scott admits their poor record at Twickenham will be on their minds this weekend.
Scott said: “Words can’t describe what it would be like for us to win. We’ve not won down there in my lifetime so it would be unbelievable.”
Despite the results, Scotland have shown signs of progress in recent weeks and will take heart from the fact their narrow losses to France, Wales and Italy came to an accumulative difference of just 13 points.
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