Mike Brown has fired a warning to Harlequins star playmaker Marcus Smith after he saw firsthand how ‘alpha-male’ Owen Farrell ruined Danny Cipriani’s last chance in an England shirt.
Cipriani, like Smith, lit up the Premiership back in 2018 but struggled to make an impact when given the opportunity during the tour of South Africa
“If there’s a power struggle on the pitch then you’ve got a problem,” wrote Brown in his column for the Mail Online.
“I saw it first hand with Owen and Danny Cipriani on the 2018 tour of South Africa.
“Danny was playing fly-half but Owen was still trying to make the calls from 12 and play it his way. You can see his body language towards Danny on the TV footage. It just didn’t work.
“Owen’s an alpha male. That’s what makes him such a good leader. He’s brilliant at team-talks, brilliant at bringing energy and brilliant at setting the tone in defence.Embed from Getty Images
“You always hear him over the referee’s microphone because he’s the loudest guy on the pitch.
“His 10-12 combination worked with George Ford because George is a bit more reserved.
“I just hope they give Marcus full autonomy and don’t clip his wings. It will be a step up in terms of game-management at Test level and you have to find the balance, but that area of his game has developed a lot.
MIKE BROWN PICKS HIS ENGLAND BACKLINE FOR AUTUMN:
- 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)
- 14. Max Malins (Saracens)
- 11. Adam Radwan (Newcastle Falcons)
Brown wrote: “Marcus is great at bringing the wide men into the game and I’d love to see him combine with a back-three of Adam Radwan, Max Malins and Freddie Steward.
“There’s some electric running ability there and they could provide brilliant back-field cover. All three have started the season positively and Eddie deserves credit for selecting players on form.”