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Robbed: Mike Brown won't debut for Newcastle versus Harlequins

By Liam Heagney

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Mike Brown won’t be making his Newcastle debut versus Harlequins this Sunday as an injury has robbed the veteran ex-England full-back of the opportunity to take on his old club in the opening round of the 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership season. A rib injury picked up in last weekend’s pre-season win at Edinburgh has unfortunately sidelined the Falcons summer signing.

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His absence will be a real pity as it was a reunion that had been much spoken about ever since the fixture list for the new season was published during the off-season. Nathan Earle, the other former Harlequins player who has joined Newcastle for the new term, had last week told RugbyPass: “They say it [the fixtures schedule] is random but as soon as they saw Mike Brown leave Harlequins they probably went, ‘Right, where has he gone to?’ 

“They set this up straight away because you know how he is, he is the most competitive man I have ever met and he will be champing at the bit – he will be properly excited for that game. He had that interview where he felt the way he was told he wasn’t being kept on was quite unjust. Brownie loves to prove everyone wrong and I’m sure he will do when he gets the opportunity.”

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Mike Brown’s Premiership young player of the season verdict
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Mike Brown’s Premiership young player of the season verdict

That chance for Brown to put one over his old team will now have to wait until later in the season in the return fixture at The Stoop. Newcastle, though, have still chosen an XV that should ask questions of the defending champions in the opening round of the London club’s title defence. 

Logovi’i Mulipola will make his 50th appearance for Newcastle while ex-Leeds Rhinos player Iwan Stephens, the son of ex-Wales union international Colin, will make a debut on the wing in a backline that also features Adam Radwan, the new England cap who scored a hat-trick of tries on his international debut in July. Harlequins, who now have Tabai Matson at the helm as head of rugby, give club debuts to Jack Walker and Tommy Allan.

NEWCASTLE: 15. Tom Penny; 14. Adam Radwan, 13. Ben Stevenson, 12. Pete Lucock, 11. Iwan Stephens; 10. Brett Connon, 9. Louis Schreuder; 1. Logovi’i Mulipola, 2. George McGuigan, 3. Trevor Davison, 4. Greg Peterson, 5. Sean Robinson, 6. Philip van der Walt, 7. Will Welch (captain), 8. Carl Fearns. Reps: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Kyle Cooper, 18 Mark Tampin, 19 Marco Fuser, 20. Connor Collett, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Will Haydon-Wood, 23 George Wacokecoke. 

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HARLEQUINS: 15. Tyrone Green; 14. Louis Lynagh, 13. Joe Marchant, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Cadan Murley, 10. Tommy Allan, 9. Danny Care; 1. Santiago Garcia Botta, 2. Jack Walker, 3. Simon Kerrod, 4. Matt Symons, 5. Dino Lamb, 6. Tom Lawday, 7. Jack Kenningham, 8. Alex Dombrandt (capt). Reps: 16. Sam Riley, 17. Joe Marler, 18. Craig Trenier, 19. Hugh Tizard, 20. Archie White, 21. Scott Steele, 22. Huw Jones, 23. Luke Northmore.

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Robbed: Mike Brown won't debut for Newcastle versus Harlequins

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