Mike Brown has condemned an England fan who abused him and his Harlequins team-mate Joe Marler and cast doubt on his commitment during the latest Test defeat.
Reports of a clash between England players and fans in Bloemfontein came to light after the Springboks’ 23-12 win which left them 2-0 up in the series with one game left in Cape Town on Saturday.
“I had a ‘supporter’ leaning over and saying in certain ways that I wasn’t trying hard enough,” said the veteran full back, who has also stopped using Twitter because of the abuse he has received. “I just told him to shut up and walked off. That was it.
“He was an England supporter. He had a flag and kit — the full gear. I was very happy with my reaction. I’m not a robot, I’m a human being. I told him to shut up — like I would tell anyone if they said something like that.
“At the end of the day, he can say he doesn’t like me as a player and he doesn’t think I can do this, that or the other. That’s fine. That’s his opinion. But don’t ever say I’m not trying because people can see how much I put in on the field. I just think it’s rude and way off the mark.
“Even if I make mistakes or don’t play very well, there’s never a game in my career where I haven’t put 100 per cent effort in. I’ve got 71 caps and name a time when I haven’t put 100 per cent effort in. It’s the same for my team-mates. Look at last weekend — it’s probably over-trying that’s our problem rather than under-trying.
“You can see how much it means to me and the others to play for England. So I can’t understand someone swearing and saying I don’t put effort in. I don’t use Twitter any more for that reason because it’s not really feedback — it’s abuse.”