With the announcement this week that Saracens first Heineken Cup fixture will be away to Connacht, Scottish flanker Kelly Brown described the Galway Sportsground as a “tough, uncompromising” place to go.
“It’s always a tough place to go” said the 31 year-old, who is currently recovering from ankle surgery.
“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 season”.
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” he said.
“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 was normally wet and normally windy but saying that we are playing them in October 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. “
“We’re really looking forward to the 2013/14 season now’; it’s well documented how disappointing the end to last season was for the group; after a week or so of reflection we thought that we have to make up for it this season, and with all the fixtures now announced for the three competitions we can look forward to that. All the guys are back in and are working incredibly hard so I’m really looking forward to the beginning of the season”.