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Mike Brown: Harlequins’ former England

Mike Brown in action for Harlequins
Mike Brown was on the scoresheet when Harlequins thrashed Gloucester on 20 March

Former England full-back Mike Brown is to leave Harlequins at the end of the season to join Newcastle Falcons.

The 35-year-old, who joined the Premiership side as a teenager and made his debut in 2005, helped the club win the European Challenge Cup in 2010-11 and the 2011-12 Premiership title.

He made his England debut against South Africa in 2007 and went on to win 72 England caps, scoring 13 tries.

The club’s record appearance maker said his time at Quins had been “special”.

Brown has played 348 games and scored 98 tries for the club so far.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to play alongside some great players, in some great teams, but more importantly I have met many great people during my time with Harlequins,” he said.

“This is a strong group and I fully believe we can achieve something great this year.”

Quins are fourth in the Premiership table and general manager Billy Millard said he hoped the club can give Brown “a fitting send-off”.

“I’ve only worked with Mike for two and a half of his 17-year career with Quins, but as the record appearance holder at our club and one of the most decorated players in Quins’ history, I know he will go down as one of the all-time greats at The Stoop,” added Millard.

Newcastle, who are 10th in the Premiership table, announced Brown’s signing on Saturday.

Director of rugby Dean Richards, who worked with Brown during his time in charge of Harlequins, called him a “a top-quality player who is right up there as the form full-back in England at the moment”.

Brown said: “I’ve enjoyed watching how the Falcons have performed this season since coming back up, and they’ve had some great results.

“They play with an uncompromising toughness and have got some real X-factor players, and when the time comes to join up with them in the summer I know I’ll enjoy being part of it.”

BBC London