Mike Brown – Not one to forget his roots

With Mike Brown among those shortlisted for Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season, I thought I would take this opportunity to reflect on his rise through the ranks as a young and somewhat unnoticed player, to a living legend within the world of rugby.

He was the star of the Six Nations. Fleet of foot, terrific in the tackles, a safe pair of hands and Mr Dependable. And that’s without mentioning the firecracker flair!

But it’s good to know the mighty Mike Brown hasn’t forgotten his roots.

When we look at this season’s success, you might wonder where it all started.

Well, I heard him on the radio recently, chatting about where it all began and how much he owes a number of clubs for helping him when he was young. He started playing for the colts at Salisbury RFC – the proving ground for two other England internationals who share the same name: Richard Hill the flanker and Richard Hill the scrum-half.

It was encouraging to hear the current crop of young talent being nurtured in the Wiltshire city, talking about how Mike Brown is inspiring them and how a number are already representing England at junior level. They have been keeping a close eye on this season’s international sensation – proof today of what could be in store for them – tomorrow.

Just down the road at Melksham RFC, coaches are using Mr Brown to inspire and encourage in a different way; because when he was there as a teenager, he never did manage to attract the attention of regional selectors; Which is why Melksham’s up and coming players are being told that making it to the top is a not a vertical rise. However pulling on the club’s shirt at colt and first team level, knowing someone like Mike Brown has gone before them to play for England, is quite a motivator!

Mr Brown himself still clearly appreciates the help and support the club gave him in his teens and it’s good to know he’s primed to return to open their new clubhouse.

The star of the moment – remembering those who’ve helped him on his journey.

And look where he is now. A player with such composure and tenacity. A player who is a complete Mr Reliable.

We have all come to know and love this Harlequins’ hero.

All the best for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season, Mr Brown and thank you for all those memorable moments!

*The other nominees are Dan Braid – Sale Sharks, Vereniki Goneva – Leicester Tigers, Samu Manoa – Northampton Saints and Chris Pennell – Worcester Warriors

By Rhiannon Chandler-Day (@RhiannonCDay)

To see more from Rhiannon, please check out her rugby blog at: rhiannonsrugbyunionblog.blogspot.co.ukrhiannonsrugbyunionblog.blogspot.co.uk

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