Former England stalwart Mike Brown is set to swap London for Newcastle, with the fullback set to link back up with former Harlequins head coach Dean Richards at the Falcons.
The Rugby Paper flagged the move last week. RugbyPass now understands that the deal is done and that Brown has penned a two year deal with the high-flying northern club, albeit on considerably reduced terms from his current Harlequins contract.
Richards, who gave Brown his first start at Harlequins, has clearly convinced the 35-year-old fullback that a change of scenery was preferable to retirement. Given his age, Brown extending his time at Harlequins may not have been a given.
In November, Paul Gustard, Harlequins head of rugby, said: “We are working hard on the age profile of the squad and it has been too old for too long. We are trying to regenerate it and start growing. This club has only been in the top four a total of four times in 20 years and the Premiership title (2012) was an anomaly and we are trying to find consistency and we are pushing in the right direction.
Brown has spent his entire career at Harlequins and holds the record for the most appearances in the club’s history with over 330 to his name. Last month Brown earned his 50th Heineken Champions Cup appearance in the fifteen jersey. He amassed 72 caps for England between 2007 and 2019.
Born in Southampton, Brown broke into the England Saxons team while still an academy player.
Brown celebrated his 40th cap, and his World Cup debut with two tries against Fiji at Twickenham in September 2015. He earned 50th cap against the Wallabies in England’s 39-28 win in Brisbane in 2016.
He played in all of England’s matches in the 2018 Six Nations and was selected for the summer tour to South Africa, where he scored two tries after being switched from full-back to the wing. He won his last cap that year.