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Mike Brown delivers a brutal put-down of Wales and Alun Wyn Jones

By Liam Heagney
Mike Brown clashes with Alun Wyn Jones in 2015 (Photo by Chris Lee/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Mike Brown has delivered a damning assessment of last Saturday’s lethargic Wales performance, even accusing the legendary Alun Wyn Jones of walking during the 10-20 home defeat to England in the Guinness Six Nations. Brown was on full-back duty for Leicester Tigers at London Irish in the Gallagher Premiership not long after the round three championship match in Cardiff.


However, he saw more than enough of the Test match on TV to label that Wales team as the worst he had ever seen during his time involved in the sport – and that has been a while given that Brown is a 37-year-old who earned nine of his 72 England Test caps in matches against the Welsh, emerging victorious on six occasions.

Taking a break from his busy schedule at Leicester, who host Bath next Saturday in their latest Premiership fixture, Brown appeared on this week’s RugbyPass Offload and he didn’t shy away from negatively assessing how Wales played in their defeat to England.

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Mike Brown and Ollie Lawrence | RugbyPass Offload | Episode 66
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Mike Brown and Ollie Lawrence | RugbyPass Offload | Episode 66

“It wasn’t the greatest game to watch. Wales are in a real dark place on and off the field at the moment and you could see that. They have got some work to do,” he said before being asked by presenter Marc Edwards if that was the worst Wales side he had ever seen during his time in the game?

“It has got to be,” he replied. “Just for me, they were slow and ponderous. There was one moment when their nine who actually was quite good, I can’t remember his name now, did a quick tap and he was off and gone and actually made some good metres and caught England and the whole team were like 20 metres away…


“That (slowness) was why they were getting beaten at breakdown, people walking. People like Alun Wyn, who is supposed to be the talisman leader, just walking around. I don’t think they were that physical and that was why they were getting turned over at breakdown. And then no adaption of their game plan.


“You were thinking at some point they are going to change it, shift to kick it or do something different because it was just every single kick was on him [Freddie Steward] and he was never going to drop it because also there was never really any pressure as well so it was like, ‘What are they doing?’ It was strange. Yeah, such a shame to see from the Wales team, isn’t it?”

That last line of his Wales assessment was delivered by Brown with his tongue very much in cheek. What, though, about England and how he believes they are faring under new head coach Steve Borthwick? “England were at ground zero and are trying to build, so you can see why they played that game plan.

“At least they were kicking with purpose. It was as minimal rucks as possible and as soon as they can’t get momentum, they were going to kick it. That is what they did and to be fair, it worked for them. They won the aerial battle, they won the breakdown battle and then off the back of that you did see glimpses of what they are trying to work on in the attack.

“They were a lot better at taking opportunities. They left a few behind out there but you can kind of see what they are doing and why they are doing it because it is basic and hopefully they build off that.


“We knew when Steve came in that was what he was going to bring. He played in a Sarries team that played that way and he was (assistant) coach with England when we played that way when Eddie (Jones) first took over, and then what he did at Leicester was playing a similar way.

“That was always what he was going to bring and then hopefully he will adapt and build off that but they have got to start somewhere and at least they are kicking with purpose. At the end of Eddie’s time, they were just kicking it for the sake of it.”


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