Rugby Union

Ben Foden wants England No. 15 shirt

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Mike Brown has become a solid figure for England having played fantastically well in their Six Nations campaign, but as a big year approaches fellow countryman Ben Foden has warned Brown that he is after his number 15 shirt.

Foden took part in England's autumn test series against New Zealand, where Stuart Lancaster's side suffered three defeats to the All Blacks.

The 29-year-old also helped Northampton Saints go on to win the Aviva Premiership title last season, and considering the fullback has had problems he aims to show his worth in the 2015 season.

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Ben Foden

Foden spoke to the Rugby Paper, and explained that if he stays fully fit he'll have a strong chance of pushing for starting place with England.

The Saints' player also went on to explain that himself and Mike Brown are good mates, but competition will be fierce for the prestigious England shirt.

"I’ve always been a counter-attacking full-back so hopefully, touch wood, this year I’ll stay fully fit. I’ve had a good pre-season and feel really good in myself, so I’m raring to get back out there and show the form of old.

"It’ll be difficult getting back into the England side because guys like Brownie and Alex Goode are playing well, but you want that level of competition.

"No one wants to get relaxed when you’re playing for England, you want to make sure you’re always being tested and pushed hard for it, so it’s my job now to push Brownie. I’ll be gunning for his No.15 shirt and hopefully this season I can do that."

Mike Brown

At the moment Mike Brown is England's regular full-back; the Harlequins player has delivered on both levels of professional rugby having grown as a player over the recent months.

In the Six Nations the 28-year-old displayed some great defensive work playing in all five matches, and after the tournament really put Lancaster in the mid-set that Brown was his best option.

But with the new Aviva Premiership approaching, moods can turn and form can dip as Brown and Foden will be battling it out not only for an England place but for the Aviva Premiership title.

Brown or Foden?

It was last season that Northampton secured a brilliant win against Saracens to clinch the Championship at Twickenham after extra-time, but for Quins their dream was cut short losing to Leicester Tigers in the play-off semi-finals.

But the problem with Foden and the full-back position is that Jim Mallinder doesn't play the Englishman regularly in his favoured position for Saints, as last season Foden featured as scrum-half.

Mike Brown on the other hand plays full-back for both club and country, and is the type of character who wears his heart on his sleeve.

There is no debate these two players should be included in the next England squad, if they can perform, and if they are selected then England will have another solid position for future reference they can fill easily.

2015 is massive year for many players but especially for these two members; they will be fighting it out for each other's place but again their clubs success will have another part to play.

England have a test coming up against New Zealand in November before the Six Nations, and whoever can impress Lancaster in the Premiership before these big events will surely be a front-runner heading into the New Year.

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England Rugby
Northampton Saints
Aviva Premiership
New Zeland Rugby
Six Nations
Rugby Union
IRB Rugby World Cup

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