Browne keen to step out of brother's long shadow
Andrew Browne wants to mark his Heineken Cup debut on Friday night by ousting 2010 finalists Biarritz at the Sportsground.
A victory for Eric Elwood's side would put them in a great shape for the return fixture the following weekend and leave them heading to Harlequins in January with a spot in the knockout stages up for grabs.
With Michael Swift out and Mike McCarthy a doubt, local lock Browne has a sniff of his first Heineken Cup cap, and he is champing at the bit to feature.
"It will be mad here on Friday. At the Toulouse game last year I was in the crowd and it was unbelievable," said Browne (25), who made his Connacht debut in 2007.
"You want to be on the pitch and hopefully that will be me this weekend, soaking up the atmosphere and getting the win."
Ever since his school days the sizeable shadow of his older brother Damian – who plays for Leinster – has dominated Browne's path.
"Damo was a huge influence on me, but I didn't start playing rugby seriously until I was 15 or 16. I tried my hand at other sports, I played a bit of GAA a bit of soccer... a bit of everything," said Browne.
"I would love to play with him in the same team as long as he doesn't take my position.
"But first I'd like to play against him: we have never come up against each other. My first chance was last year when he signed for Leinster, but I was injured. And this year for the home game, I was injured."