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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 13:00 GMT
Cohen wants fresh start in Brive
Ben Cohen is England's equal second-highest try scorer of all time with 31
Cohen had considered a cross-code move into rugby league
Ben Cohen is expecting to have to battle for his place after completing his switch to French club Brive.

The World Cup-winner has played almost no rugby this season after leaving Northampton in August because of a dispute over the club captaincy.

"I'm a competitor and I will try to use my experience to help the club," said the 29-year-old, who has 57 England caps to his name.

"It's a new challenge for me and I know I have to find my place in the team."

Cohen left Northampton after losing out to Bruce Reihana for the club captaincy, buying himself out of his Saints contract so he could join Leicester.

But the move broke down because his testimonial earnings from Northampton would have broken their salary cap.

You have to buy into their culture and enjoy it

Brive hooker Steve Thompson

Cohen will be reunited with his former Northampton and England team-mate Steve Thompson in France.

Thompson, who has reversed his decision to retire from playing, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I know Ben will fit in.

"We've got a great set of lads here and Ben knows what it's all about living abroad. It's great to have him here."

Cohen, England's joint second-highest try scorer with 31 tries, came on as a second-half substitute for the Barbarians in the victory over South Africa last weekend - his first serious action since the end of last season.

606: DEBATE

He joins a side that is lying bottom of the French Top 14 with four defeats from their first four games.

Cohen has also said that he was keen to get back into the international set-up, despite making himself unavailable for the World Cup in France to spend time with his pregnant wife.

He has not represented his country since playing against South Africa in November 2006.

But Thompson believes that the move could help him reclaim his place back in the England side.

"Yes he can do it," said Thompson. "This will give him an extra edge and the flair of playing here is difficult but the coaches would rather you go for it and run the ball.

"You have to buy into their culture, go with it and enjoy it. I thought the game would be a lot looser over here but the defence in this league is as good as in England. I thought it would be a lot more flowing but it's not at all."

SEE ALSO
Salary cap leaves Cohen in limbo
01 Nov 07 |  Northampton
Winger Cohen leaves Northampton
24 Sep 07 |  Northampton
Cohen walks out after Saints snub
22 Aug 07 |  Rugby Union
Cohen out of SA tour & World Cup
04 May 07 |  English
Thompson set for surprise return
23 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union


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