OWAIN BROWN knows that time is running out to impress Wales’ head coach Iestyn Harris.
The North Wales Crusaders’ prop thought he had missed out on a place in Harris’ 21-man squad for the clash with France at The Racecourse on Saturday, (2.30pm), after his name was omitted from the initial list.
But Brown’s absence proved to be nothing more than a clerical error and he is now eager to stake a claim for a place in the matchday 17 on his home turf.
“I hope I can play in the game,” said Brown. “I have two hours to impress Iestyn and force my way into his plans for Saturday.
“I am thinking about the possibility of making my debut but I don’t want to build it up too much in case I miss out.
“But, I would never have dreamt of having the chance of playing for Wales a year ago so I want to play and give it my all.
“The whole experience won’t sink in until I am told ‘you are in the 17’ or not.”
Brown expects to find out whether he has made the final cut tomorrow evening, but before then he has the chance to catch the eye of Harris and coach Lee Briers in training sessions this morning and tomorrow.
“I am hoping my best will be good enough but there is competition for places,” he said. “There is Jordan James, Andy Bracek and Jacob Emmitt and that is with injuries to Gil Dudson and Craig Kopczak.
“If I do find out I have made the squad then I can’t imagine I will get much sleep tomorrow night!”
With James and Emmitt plying their trade in Super League and Bracek a seasoned international, Brown is facing an uphill battle to make the matchday squad.
However, the 27-year-old remains pleased with his showings in training over the last six weeks and feels he has done himself justice.
“Training has been really intense,” he said when asked how the camps have compared with Championship One.
“For an hour it is a case of concentrating, but that is because the game against France will be like that.
“It has been good training with Super League players and you can tell, even in training, what it takes to play higher up.
“I think I have held my own and given myself a good chance of playing.”
Brown, who is joined by brother Iwan, Kriss Wilkes and Christiaan Roets in the 21-man squad, has spent the last few days trying to get over his performance in the 30-28 victory over Oldham on Sunday.
He was left disappointed with his display and was worried that it might have cost him the chance to feature for Wales.
“I was hoping for a big game and was gutted that it didn’t happen,” he said.
“Up until the weekend I hadn’t missed a tackle and within five minutes of coming off the bench on Sunday I missed two.
“I spoke with Clive (Griffiths) and he said to forget it, go away with Wales and return fresh for the week after.”