TWO-TRY Mike Brown admitted it was an “emotional” occasion as he helped England to a hard-fought 35-11 win in the Rugby World Cup opener last night.
The elusive Harlequins full-back has spent much of this year sidelined following major concussion issues. However, he came to the fore to dig the hosts out of trouble as Fiji threatened to cause a shock in the first game of the tournament.
Their stubborn opponents trailed just 21-11 until Brown added his second try in the 73rd minute to end their hopes of an upset.
Thankfully for England, Billy Vunipola then crossed, too, in the last play of the match to grab a bonus point that might prove vital as they seek to escape the Pool A ‘Group of Death’ that also features Wales and Australia.
Brown, 30, admitted: “It was an emotional time for me.
“It’s my first World Cup and playing here at Twickenham, representing my country like this and to get over the whitewash twice, too, is something special.
“I wouldn’t say we were relieved at the end; we trust all our game plans and stick to that.
“Fiji are a world-class team with world class players.
“They fought hard and they tested us, but it’s good to start with a win and we’ll move on from this to Wales next Saturday.”
England’s next opponents Wales open their Pool A account with a game against Uruguay tomorrow.