Kearney relishing battle with Brown

Date published: February 22 2014

Ireland full-back Rob Kearney is ready to measure himself against England counterpart Mike Brown at Twickenham on Saturday.

Ireland full-back Rob Kearney is ready to measure himself against England counterpart Mike Brown at Twickenham on Saturday.

Kearney's coach Joe Schmidt said earlier this week that Brown is the Six Nations' form player at the moment.

And after outplaying Wales' Leigh Halfpenny in Ireland's 26-3 victory over Wales two weeks ago he is determined to get the better of Brown as well this weekend.

“He's definitely been England's player of the series,” said Kearney of Schmidt's praise for Brown.

“He's got this really good ability to beat the first tackle a huge amount of the time.

“We've identified him as one of their key go-to men and someone we've got to shut down.

“Any time you take the field you always try to outdo the opposite number.

“You do relish that individual battle.

“It adds a little bit more spice given he has had such a strong season, and his performances are gradually going up.”

Ireland have lost their last three matches against England, including a 12-6 loss in Dublin during last season's Six Nations.

Kearney said that defeat represented a low point that no Irish player wants to repeat.

“The Aviva last year was a tough one to take, we were very low at that stage,” he said.

“And the last time we were at Twickenham we got completely bullied off the field.

“So those memories are strong in us, and we recognise that, we don't want anything similar.

“It's going to be a huge battle up front, we'll have to muscle up.

“The English power game has paid huge dividends for them throughout the years and it's no different.

“It's a great challenge for us though now.”

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