Fitter and faster Mike Brown ready for the new season
ESPN Staff
July 30, 2014
The new Harlequins kit for 2014-15 at the London launch, July 30, 2014
Mike Brown was speaking at the launch of the Harlequins kit for the new season © Adidas

England and Harlequins fullback Mike Brown has spent most of the close season working on his fitness and speed in a bid to be as ready as possible for 14 months which culminates with the 2015 IRN Rugby World Cup.

Brown, who was named Six Nations Player of the Championship and Premiership Player of the Season, has been working closely with sprint coach Margot Wells, the wife of 1980 Olympic 100m champion Allan, which has made a difference to his running style.

"There are so many quality full-backs in England so it's about coming up with new things to try and make me a better player and that's what Margot has been doing," Brown said. "I push myself to get better every year and I am desperate to play in a World Cup for the first time and win it. It's a huge year … a World Cup in your own country … and it doesn't get any bigger than that. It's very exciting."

He did allow himself a Caribbean break after getting engaged, but even then he did not quite turn off. "I did take some time to reflect on last season and while I did try and not think about rugby on holiday it was tough because it's a massive time with the World Cup next year.

"It was nice to have a few days off for a holiday this summer. I finished last season in pretty good shape although there were a few niggles after the New Zealand trip but I'm feeling really good and ready to go now."

Brown admitted four straight losses to New Zealand were on his mind, but the key was not to go into the tournament with a fifth defeat in November. "I see it as starting afresh against the All Blacks because it will be at Twickenham in front of our incredible fans. It was a tough tour at the end of a long season and now it's a case of getting the All Blacks on our own patch where no visiting team like to play.

"We have gained even more experience from those three games. The tour showed we need to be more clinical in taking our chances and they were better than us doing that. Also we have to control the tempo of the game better. Confidence hasn't been affected and we pushed them really hard in the first two games and we are going in the right direction."

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