Brown finds positives in rocky Test journey
Kevin Brown knows how to bide his time.
The Warrington Wolves five-eighth played two Tests for England in the 2010 Four Nations but then had to wait almost six years until his next international, this time against Australia in the 2016 quadrangular tournament.
Brown was recalled to face Samoa in May but hasn't yet featured in the 2017 World Cup. He's watched as Gareth Widdop, Luke Gale and George Williams featured in England's halves against the Kangaroos and Lebanon.
Despite playing close to 350 Super League games, he's not sullen about his sporadic Test career. Rather, he's delighted to be playing in his first World Cup.
"It's the pinnacle of my career," Brown told NRL.com.
"I've played in a Four Nations and some mid-season Test matches, but to actually play in a World Cup is something I'll remember forever."
Internal competition is strong and Brown says it's only a positive.
"It's great, it's what you want in your Test teams," he said.
"We've got that. It helps in training when you're really being pushed. I've had to sort of play a different role than I do [at] club [level]. It's something I always tell the young lads when they don't get picked, to react positively and still give the team a bit of benefit from you not playing. I couldn't talk the talk and not walk the walk.
"I've got my head down and impress as much as I can on the training field, and put as much pressure on some fantastic halfbacks who were in front of me."
The 33-year-old was rewarded with a first World Cup start against the French. He'll be in his familiar five-eighth role with Gareth Widdop dropping to fullback. Coach Wayne Bennett's instructions? Stick to the game plan.
"Just to be committed," is what Brown said is required of him.
"Don't try to do something you've not trained for. I think you see us training there (out in the Perth heart) – we train really hard and get a lot of confidence from that. So going into the game it is sort of second nature really. Just doing what I've done my whole career, but a little bit faster and a little bit harder."
Brown will be up against French captain Theo Fages on Sunday. Brown admires the young Salford Red Devils player for his competitive streak. Nullifying him will go a long way to winning the clash.
"He's a true competitor," Brown said of the France skipper.
"I've played against him many times. When he's good, he's good. What you can always guarantee is he always gives it everything. I'm going to try and out-compete him, first and foremost, and then hopefully get over the top of him with some skill as well."