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Care, Marler emotional as Mike Brown makes winning Newcastle debut

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Mike Brown was a winner on his Newcastle debut on Friday night, the veteran full-back playing 65 minutes in the Falcons’ 12-7 win away to Glasgow which was secured by George Wacokecoke’s last-minute try. However, the strange sight of him wearing the Newcastle colours seemed to be too much for the likes of Danny Care and Joe Marler to bear, judging by the Instagram replies they left on Brown’s social media account after the seasoned ex-England back posted a picture of himself and Luther Burrell during preparations for the pre-season friendly. 


Brown, who turned 36 the day after his Newcastle debut, posted the picture with a “New beginning” message and it sparked a flurry of responses from his former teammates at Harlequins, the club where the veteran spent his entire professional rugby career until his disappointing exit from the Londoners.

He was left upset by how his contract situation was handled last spring and his eventual exit from the club at the end of June contained a second bum note as suspension ruled him out from the final weeks of the season where Harlequins went on to be crowned Gallagher Premiership champions for the first time since 2012. 

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Damian Willemse on the Frans Steyn effect on the Springboks

Brown’s message on social media prompted responses from Mark Lambert, Marcus Smith, Louis Lynagh and Sean Long, old colleagues of his at Harlequins. New Leicester signing Freddie Burns also chipped in, but it was the responses from Care and Marler, two more of the long-serving Harlequins brigade, that most caught the eye.

Care wrote: “Nope nope nope. Don’t like it”, a message that led to Brown replying: “Miss you.” Burrell, who was in the picture with Brown, added: “Don’t worry. He’s in good hands.” Marler later added: “Yeah, this looks s***” before Smith chipped in with “Miss ya, Brownie.”

Brown’s friends at Harlequins won’t have to wait for long, though, to catch up in person with their old pal as Newcastle are set to host the reigning champions at Kingston Park on September 19 in the first round of the new Premiership season. The Falcons had little time to reflect after their last-gasp win in Scotland as they host Doncaster in another friendly less than 24 hours later. Brown was excluded from the Saturday line-up but Dean Richards has picked the likes of Adam Radwan, the youngster who lit up Twickenham with his try-scoring exploits on his England debut in July.


NEWCASTLE (vs Doncaster, Saturday):
15. Alex Tait; 14. Chidera Obonna, 13. Zach Kerr, 12. Luther Burrell, 11. Adam Radwan; 10. Will Haydon-Wood, 9. Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti; 1. Logovi’i Mulipola, 2. Jamie Blamire, 3. Richard Palframan, 4. Matthew Dalton, 5. Will Montgomery, 6. Freddie Lockwood, 7. Connor Collett, 8. Tom Marshall. Reps: 16. Robbie Smith, 17. Mark Dormer, 18. Oscar Caudle, 19. George Merrick, 20. Marcus Tiffen, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Ewan Greenlaw, 23. Louie Johnson; Blank shirts: Matt Deehan, James Blackett, Ollie Fletcher.


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