On the eve of Saracens’ first Heineken Cup fixture of the season, Scottish flanker Kelly Brown has described away trip to Connacht as a “tough, uncompromising” place to go.
“It’s always a tough place to go” said the 31 year-old.
“The ground is pretty open, and the crowd are incredibly keen to get behind their side. I’ve not played there for a couple of years but it looks like they’ve got another stand there, so it’s becoming much more of a rugby stadium, and I’m really looking forward to going out there this week”.
Brown first visited Connacht with the now defunct Border Reivers side in 2004, and has visited the West of Ireland with the Glasgow Warriors and Saracens in a preseason friendly in 2010.
“The first time I visited the Sportsground was when I was still playing for the Borders”.
“To quote the Vamps (the chart topping band performing when Saracens play Toulouse at Wembley next Friday) my stomach was doing naughty butterflies that day” revealed Brown.
“I remember that our No.8 was sent-off pretty early into the game so that made it tough, but it’s always pretty tough over there; it is normally wet and normally windy but saying that it has been pretty nice recently so with a bit of luck it will be dry and we’ll see some nice weather.
He added; “Every time I’ve been there it’s been a tough, uncompromising place to go and as a side they really target their home matches. I’ve got a good friend over at Connacht in Dan Parks who is very good at playing the percentages and pinning teams into the corners with his boot, so I’m sure he’ll suit them very well.”
Brown is now raring to go this weekend; “But I’d like to skip the small talk…we are looking forward to the challenge. Connacht are well drilled side with a proud history, so we know that on Friday we’ll be in for a battle” said Brown.
He added “We will have to be on our mettle, as big teams with some big reputations like Biarritz and Harlequins have come unstuck over in Galway in recent times, so we know how much of a test Friday will be”.