Six Nations
O'Shea clears Brown of blame
ESPNscrum Staff
March 1, 2012
England's David Strettle goes over but the score is not given, England v Wales, Six Nations, Twickenham, London, February 25, 2012
David Strettle was held up at the death as England lost to Wales © Getty Images

Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea has backed Mike Brown to bounce back from the disappointment of England's Six Nations loss to Wales.

The fullback has been reliving the dying moments of the Twickenham encounter, where he put winger David Strettle on a run to the line only for the 'try' to be ruled out due to inconclusive video evidence.

O'Shea - who has Brown at his disposal for this weekend's Aviva Premiership clash with Newcastle - believes that there was nothing more that could be done under the circumstances, and also that his charge could be getting closer to unseating Ben Foden from the England No.15 jersey.

"Browny texted me after the game and said 'should I have gone for it'? I said 'no you were right to give the ball'," O'Shea said. "Browny could have had a go himself but he would have been tackled. If he had waited any longer to pass they'd have hit him.

"He did exactly what he needed to do and give the ball to Strettle. You can never give a wing, who is four yards from the line, the ball too early. The bottom line is he scored, it just wasn't given.

"Browny has worked really hard to get himself back in the England squad. It has been a massive wait and a battle and I am delighted he has done it. Hopefully, he will get a chance to start a game. I think he is getting closer. All he can do is come back this weekend, play hard, play well and ask the question. The good thing for England is you have someone putting the pressure on. It is not a fait accomplis."

Joe Marler and Jordan Turner-Hall have also been released by England to start for Harlequins in their top-versus-bottom showdown at Kingston Park.

"Joe is very confident and in a really good place. The fact he has been capped is a monkey off his back, you can see him relax more as a player and it will make him more dangerous," O'Shea said. "It has been a big boost of confidence for those three boys."

"You can ignore the fact it is first against 12th. I know their coaching team well. It will be a monumental battle for us. They are scrapping for their lives but we are aiming for something this team absolutely craves. These are the games you have to put a performance in and we will not be outworked. Nick Easter has spoken as captain about the expectations. We have been top of the league since the third round, we have been there to be shot at and the guys keep reacting in the same way."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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