6:00am Friday 4th April 2014
By Stuart Amos
Harlequins full back Mike Brown slipped back into the same old routine on Saturday and knows he must keep up his rich vein of form for more reasons than one.
The 28-year-old Six Nations player of the tournament was among the try scorers as director of rugby Conor O’Shea beat London Irish at the Stoop on Saturday to keep hopes of a top four Premiership finish alive.
Brown is certain to start for his country during England’s summer tour to New Zealand – six years after his last trip down under to take on the All Blacks, which saw him capped once in a test series whitewash.
This time around he is in the form of his life, but knows he cannot take the foot off the gas with his England shirt on the line should he let standards slip.
“I’ve had a good season, but it has only been one season,” said Brown, refreshed after a week away from the game last week.
“It is a massive tour to New Zealand and no one’s shirt is nailed on. I’ve matured a lot since I was last there with England.
“I always expect high standards of myself and I have to keep performing.
“There is a lot more I want to achieve with England and Harlequins this year, so it is a case of keeping my head down and working hard.”
Quins travel to Paris tonight to take on Stade Francais in the Amlin Cup quarter finals with history on their side.
Quins beat Stade 19-18 to lift the trophy in 2011, having previously won dramatic home and away Heineken Cup fixtures against the French giants in 2008.
“We have to win every game to win the Premiership and Amlin Cup. Our approach stays the same,” added Brown.
“We have some great memories of playing Stade.
“The drop goal to win at home in the Heineken Cup and winning the Amlin in dramatic style for this squad’s first major trophy under Conor O’Shea.
“It will be tough. They move the ball really well and have brilliant runners.
“They are quality but we have quality all over the pitch, too.”
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