KEVIN BROWN says he was as surprised as anyone by his shock England recall.
The Widnes Vikings captain had only played briefly off the bench in the friendly against France and was left out of the 19-man squads let alone matchday 17 for both Four Nations games against New Zealand and Scotland. However, the former Huddersfield Giants stand-off was drafted in to start their crucial fixture against Australia yesterday.
Brown – who last played for England in 2010 before this autumn – could not prevent England’s 36-18 defeat that saw them exit the competition.
However, he described facing the world champions as an “unbelievable” experience and revealed: “He (coach Wayne Bennett) didn’t tee me up or anything.
“He just put me in when he named his team. It was bit of straight into the deep end.
“I hadn’t trained much with the team but they wanted a bit of experience and a louder voice and he gave me the nod.”
England trailed just 10-6 at the interval but had not capitalised on their chances, unlike Australia who were ruthless in the second period.
Brown was replaced after just 55 minutes and said: “I’d have liked longer out there but had a fair indication that’d be the way.
“I came off and Wayne said he was happy with how I went, it was just a case of getting George (Williams) a go and I had no problem with that.”
The 32-year-old added: “It was a real test and for large periods I really did believe we were going to come away and win the game.
“There were a few key things, though; we missed touch a couple of times and dropped the ball when we had chance to get over the line.
“That was probably the difference today and it was disappointing at the end.”