James Brown will only benefit from his first-team exposure after making his senior debut for Rovers in the win at Birmingham City.

That’s the view of Tony Mowbray who handed the Irishman a first start at St Andrew’s, with the right back playing the full 90 minutes.

The Irishman came up against a tricky customer in Norwich City loanee Onel Hernandez, but stuck to his task well to limit his threat.

Brown looked nervy to start, but was diligent in his defensive work, and while his in possession game requires work, Mowbray hopes that will come with more exposure to first-team football.

The 23-year-old was signed as a free agent after his contract with League of Ireland side Drogheda United expired at the end of 2021, and after signing a short-term deal initially with Rovers, he had that extended for a further two years.

Brown had made six appearances for Rovers Under-23s side before getting his chance with the first-team as Mowbray named a side including no loanees, or players not under contract for next season.

That meant no Ryan Nyambe or Darragh Lenihan, who have played at right back this season, while Joe Rankin-Costello was only among the substitute.

Of Brown’s display, Mowbray said: “Very good, he’s playing against a really powerful, fast, clever footballer.

“I thought James did really well, he’s tenacious, he’s fast, he just needs to find a bit of composure, but that’ll come with the more experience and exposure he gets.

“All the players there today are contracted for next year, all of our loan players, weren’t in the 18.

“There’s some good players at this football club.”

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