Huddersfield captain Kevin Brown has claimed England’s rugby league squad is no longer ‘picked on form’ as he prepares to lead the Giants into the top-of-the-table clash with St Helens.

Brown was a shock omission from Steve McNamara’s plans despite his starring role in Huddersfield’s rise to prominence in the Engage Super League.

The former Wigan ace, 26, has been central to his side reaching the halfway point of the season as joint-leaders. But while nine of his team-mates were included in McNamara’s 32-man elite squad or the England Knights  set-up, Brown was discarded.

No cheer: Kevin Brown of Huddersfield has been left out of the England squadNo cheer: Kevin Brown of Huddersfield has been left out of the England squad

He said: ‘It can’t have been picked on form, and I didn’t really get much of an explanation — it was just a phone call to say that I wasn’t in, and that he’d gone with other players, which I respected.’

Brown added: ‘Last year I started the mid-season Test and then started the Tests on tour, so to not be picked at all was a surprise, especially when guys were being picked who were injured and their form wasn’t great anyway.

‘I’d love to be involved but I can’t change things. I’m not going to try any harder or any less because I’ve not been picked — I always try my best. If I get re-picked then I get re-picked.’

Brown and half-back partner Danny Brough will tonight be expected to push the Giants to victory against a Saints side missing Leon Pryce, Kyle Eastmond and  Jonny Lomax.

However, Huddersfield have struggled in the last fortnight, losing 13-12 against Catalans Dragons before edging past  part-timers Batley in a tense Challenge Cup tie.

‘We need a massive improvement,’ admitted Brown. ‘We’ve highlighted a lot of areas where we can do better, but it’s something we’ve done before.

‘It’s only three or four weeks ago that we were beating Warrington and Leeds. A lot of it just boils down to effort and commitment.’

The new Giants skipper is determined to lead from the front. He said: ‘I just try to lead by example. It’s no good talking about it if you’re not actually doing it.’

Source: Daily Mail