Mike Brown set for career change following Barbarians appearance - Ruck

Mike Brown set for career change following Barbarians appearance

Mike Brown made an impressive return to rugby last night as he pulled on the famous Barbarians jersey to take on his old club Harlequins.

The former England fullback left Quins in April 2021 after 16 years at the club and moved to Newcastle Falcons on a one year deal before ultimately departing Kingston Park.

He broke down live on BT Sport as the fullback all but confirmed his retirement last month.

Brown started to prepare for life after rugby in late 2021 when he joined a player management division for the private platform Premier Sports Network.

The 36-year-old has been joined in the new venture by former Quins teammate and Argentina scrum-half Martín Landajo.

Brown currently acts as a strategic advisor for PSN Athlete Management because RFU rules prevented him from working as an agent when he is still a registered player.

“I’m in a weird grey area,” he revealed to the Mail Online.

“I’m still able to play — and I’d love an opportunity to play if everything aligns — but there are no gigs out there. I’m pushing on with my transition into life after rugby and I guess we’ll see what comes first.

“I’m not going to sit here hanging on, waiting for one last pay cheque. If something else comes up then I’ll take it. Everyone in sport has to go through it at some point and for me it could be now. It’s not the way I imagined it finishing but I’ve loved it and that’s life.

“Training on your own can be a bit bleak when you’ve used to the team environment for so long,’ he says. ‘When there’s no obvious end goal you have to find a way to motivate yourself. You have your ups and downs. 

“Of course I’m sad about it but as time goes by that feeling becomes a little less intense. I’ve had help from Craig White, learning coping mechanisms to deal with the bad moments, negative thoughts and the uncertainty. It’s important to keep a busy routine.

“I’ve been lucky. Jordan Turner-Hall invited me down to Worthing and asked me to get involved to give me some experience. It’s an opportunity to see things from a different angle, dip my toe into coaching and share my experiences. 

“People have a perception of me in rugby — direct, challenging — so outside of rugby it’s been easier to show the side that’s curious, interested and driven. I look at Ben Ryan’s role with Brentford. I’d love to do something like that. I’d love to broaden my horizons in a sport like football and add the value of my rugby career.

“Where I want to get to is a high-performance, leadership role in elite sport; building it, developing it, sustaining it. I’ve worked with so many coaches, in many different environments, and you experience what works, what doesn’t, and now I’m learning even more from spending time in other sports.”

Reacting to news Brown could be done, one fan wrote: “Top player, top man! Could and should’ve had many more England caps.”

“Legend. Still gutted he couldn’t see out his career at Quins,” said a second.

A third commented: “You don’t have to have played at Mike’s elevated level to understand how he feels about leaving the game. I, with great pride, played for my local town and I remember being in tears when I packed my kit for the last time. Even now, years after, I still dream of playing.”

Mike Brown facts:

  1. He has won three Six Nations Championship titles with England and two English Premiership titles with Harlequins
  2. Having mainly played football and little rugby, he initially wanted to play fly-half
  3. Brown was an integral part of the England team that won the RBS Six Nations Championship in 2016 and played every match in the 3–0 whitewash of Australia
  4. Brown married long term partner, fashion designer Eliza Scarlett Woodcock, the daughter of former England international footballer Tony Woodcock, in summer 2016
  5. He was selected by the general public for the 2014 RBS Six Nations player of the championship award

Mike Brown selects his England World Cup squad with 12 months to go

Former England fullback Mike Brown has revealed the England squad that he’d pick in the run up to the Rugby World Cup next September.


  • Loosehead: Ellis Genge, Mako Vunipola, Joe Marler
  • Hooker: Jamie George, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jamie Blamire
  • Tighthead: Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Joe Heyes 

Brown wrote: “On the loosehead, Ellis Genge is the out-and-out first choice. Joe Marler should come back for the World Cup and he’s neck-and-neck with Mako Vunipola.” 

Ellis Genge of England Rugby is tackled by Will Rowlands of Wales during the Six Nations Championship match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on February 26th 2021. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK


  • Lock: Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Ollie Chessum, Joe Launchbury

Brown wrote: “I think Joe Launchbury will come in when he’s fit and Ollie Chessum’s is on a real upward trajectory.”

Final whistle celebrations for Maro Itoje of England Rugby after the Six Nations Championship match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on February 26th 2021. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK