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England fullback Mike Brown says that he can no longer trust anyone in the England squad after stories about what went on in the World cup have been leaked to the media
A frustrated Brown says that he is not happy with England players who have been critical of Stuart Lancaster’s management under the cloak of anonymity and added that the fall out of England’s World Cup exit has “completely shot” his trust in the squad.
Thirty-year-old Brown who plays for Harlequins was speaking in an exclusive interview with Telegraph Sport and insisted that after England had been knocked out of their own world cup he did not think “anyone was good enough in an England shirt” to make criticisms.
The 30 year-old was one of England’s better performers in the World cup and said that stories that have emerged had been difficult to take and used the example of Sunday’s revelation of the England team’s kit manager, Dave Tennison being under investigation for giving out bad investment tips.
“There has been a story at the weekend which is absolutely ridiculous so the trust has gone now as far as I am concerned,” Brown insisted.
“I worked so hard to play in a World Cup and I am passionate about playing for England.
“It is just difficult because we have not left it in a good place and it doesn’t help with all these people deciding to pipe up in the squad that probably shouldn’t be, probably anonymously.
“I don’t think anyone was good enough in an England shirt to be piping up saying: ‘This was wrong, that was wrong’ and that sort of thing.
“If they are going to say something, I think they should put their name to it. That is going to make it even more difficult when we (the England squad) do meet up because I think the trust has been, as you can imagine, completely shot now.
“But it will come out who it was at the end of the day so it will be interesting when it does because I will be one of the first people to speak to them.”
Brown says that after stories have started leaking out of the squad they would need a clear-the-air meeting when they get together to prepare for the Six Nations if they are to move on from the world cup debacle.
“It is going to be hard for me to call anyone team-mates until we meet up,” Brown added.
“Yes, it is going to be tough. Everything good is built on trust. Everything good at Harlequins is built on trust.
“There is no trust (with England) now, as far as I am concerned. But it will all get sorted out with whoever is in charge or whoever is there. It will get sorted out, to move the team forwards, it always does in team environments.
“It is disappointing. It will come quick for all of us but we have to focus on our clubs now and doing the best job we can.”
In terms of England performing on the field Brown still believes in the squad and although he has set himself new targets he insists that the squad does not need a major overhaul going into the Six Nations.
“In terms of the group of players we don’t need to rebuild,” Brown added.
“If you look at that squad, you keep the majority of that together – obviously there will be people who play well and put their hands up that can force their way in – but you could end up with a squad with the same cap number of the New Zealand team that has just gone.
“There are some quality young players coming through, (Anthony) Watson, (Jack) Nowell, (Henry) Slade, (George) Ford and Faz (Owen Farrell) and there are other players who did not get picked who can push their way in as well.
“So if you keep the majority of those players together and you don’t need to rebuild in that sense but I think in terms of trust, given everything that has happened after the World Cup, that definitely needs rebuilding in my eyes.”
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