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England’s mid-summer excursion to Treviso could not have gone much better from a planning point of view. High temperatures and humidity levels that yesterday hit 90 per cent has not only put the squad through their hardest training camp yet, but given them a real taste of what to expect in Japan next month.
“It’s incredibly tough,” admits Mike Brown, who has had to put up with more than most this summer. The Harlequins full-back has seen his place in the starting XV desert him over the last 12 months, before being dropped from the squad completely last autumn. When Eddie Jones named his initial World Cup training squad last month, his name was nowhere to be seen.
So it is all the more impressive that the 33-year-old finds himself making a late charge towards World Cup selection.
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“Obviously, you want to be named in all the squads that Eddie announces,” he said. “We are all competitive animals so we’d be disappointed and we’d be lying if we didn’t say we were disappointed if we weren’t named.
“But I have been back in for the last three weeks, training as hard as possible to offer competition for places and also to make sure the team, whoever Eddie picks, is in the best place possible.
“You have that doubt at the back of your mind, but Eddie said just be ready so I went straight back to ruins and was welcomed with a Bronco fitness test. That was pretty savage then I
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