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Brown could return for England, Underhill out

By Iain Strachan
Mike Brown training with England

Mike Brown could be available for England’s Test against Samoa but the experienced fullback faces a challenge to regain his place if he is cleared for duty.

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Brown missed England’s 30-6 victory over Australia at Twickenham after suffering concussion in the opening match of the November internationals, a 21-8 win at Argentina’s expense.

According to Jones, the 32-year-old Harlequins back is on track to be involved on Saturday.

“Hopefully he’s going to train this afternoon so all things being equal he’s passed all of his stages and today is his next stage [of recovery],” the head coach said.

“We anticipate he’s going to be available for selection.”

In a separate interview with Sky Sports, Jones added: “Anthony Watson did superbly for us at 15 so we’ve got great competition for that spot.”

Flanker Sam Underhill, though, faces a period on the sidelines, also due to concussion. 

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“He won’t be available,” Jones said.

“We’ve taken a step where we just feel he needs a rest this week.”

Asked if it was a significant concussion, Jones added: “No, it’s just that, that was his second concussion this season so we’ve taken the view that we won’t risk him this week.”

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Shaylen 6 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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