Brown, who has won 62 England caps, was a doubt for next month’s autumn internationals
European Rugby Champions Cup
Venue: Twickenham Stoop Date: Saturday, 14 October Kick-off: 17:30 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and updates on BBC local radio and live scores on the BBC Sport website

Harlequins full-back Mike Brown will make his return from an ankle injury in Saturday’s Champions Cup opener against La Rochelle at the Twickenham Stoop.

The 32-year-old aggravated the complaint in the loss to Leicester on 23 September and has not played since.

Australian second-row James Horwill makes his comeback from concussion, while Ben Glynn plays at flanker in the absence of the injured Jack Clifford.

Former London Irish fly-half Ryan Lamb starts at 10 for La Rochelle.

The French side, who finished top of their domestic league last season before falling in the semi-finals of the play-offs, also include former All Black Victor Vito at number eight.

Champions Cup opening-round coverage
Listen to 5 live Rugby Union Weekly’s full preview of the tournament
Friday 19:00 BST, 5 live sports extra & Radio Ulster: Ulster v Wasps
Saturday 14:50 BST, 5 live sports extra Racing 92 v Leicester
Saturday 17:15 BST, 5 live sports extra Harlequins v La Rochelle
Saturday 19:30 BST, 5 live sports extra Exeter v Glasgow
Sunday 15:10 BST, 5 live sports extra & Radio Wales Toulon v Scarlets
Sunday 17:15 BST, 5 live sports extra Northampton v Saracens
Sunday 17:30 BST, BBC Radio Wales Ospreys v Clermont

Harlequins are playing in Europe’s elite competition for the first time since 2014-15 and director of rugby John Kingston believes the whole club is excited.

“Saturday night will see a special atmosphere in The Stoop and all concerned can’t wait to get going,” he said.

“La Rochelle are a very impressive side and their recent record in the French domestic league speaks for itself.”

Kingston is without two of his first-choice forwards with Clifford sidelined by a suspected dislocated shoulder sustained in last weekend’s win over Sale and prop Kyle Sinckler serving a seven-week ban for gouging.

However, 18-year-old Marcus Smith continues at fly-half after his impressive start to the season.

Harlequins: Mike Brown, Marland Yarde, Joe Marchant, Jamie Roberts, Tim Visser, Marcus Smith, Danny Care; Joe Marler, Dave Ward, Will Collier, Charlie Matthews, James Horwill (c), Ben Glynn, Chris Robshaw, Mat Luamanu.

Replacements: Elia Elia, Mark Lambert, Phil Swainston, George Merrick, Archie White, Dave Lewis, Tim Swiel, Francis Saili

La Rochelle: Kini Murimurivalu, Vincent Rattez, Paul Jordaan, Geoffrey Doumayrou, Jeremy Sinzelle, Ryan Lamb, Alexi Bales; Dany Priso, Hikairo Forbes, Uini Atonio, Jason Eaton (c), Jone Qovu, Kevin Gourdon, Zeno Kieft, Victor Vito

Replacements: Pierre Bourgarit, Mike Corbel, Vincent Pelo, Gregory Lamboley, Afa Amosa, Jean-Victor Goillot, Pierre Aguillon, Gabriel Lacroix

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