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Published: 14:47 | 8/3/16

Browne and Marshall commit to Connacht

Andrew Browne and Ben Marshall have signed new contract extensions with Connacht.

A product of the Connacht Academy, Browne made his debut against Cardiff in April in 2007 and in his ten years with his native province he has made 136 appearances.

Having represented Ireland Under-20's in their Six Nations Grand Slam success, Browne was part of the Emerging Ireland squad that travelled to Tsbisli last summer.

"It is always a privilege for me to play for my home province so I'm delighted to be staying on for another couple of seasons," Browne said of his new deal.

"We have a strong squad that is only getting better and better and it's a really exciting time to be involved. Connacht Rugby is unrecognisable from when I started out 10 years ago. But I am proud to have been here all that time and to know where we have come from and where we can go to now."

Marshall, who was also a member of the Emerging Ireland squad, is in his first season at the Sportsground but his game time has been restricted because of two arm injuries.

He returned to start in both victories over Zebre and Ospreys and he is hoping for a clear run in the weeks ahead.

"While I've been disappointed with injury, I've really enjoyed my first season at Connacht Rugby and getting to know the coaches, players and set up here. It was so great to play in those few games at the Sportsground and I'm looking forward to experiencing that again," Marshall said.

"There is certainly a lot of competition in the squad, particularly among the second rows but I'm hoping to build on my performances from last month and put my hand up for selection for what is a really exciting run to the end of the season."

Commenting on the new deals, head coach Pat Lam said: "Browney is a very experienced member of our forward pack who myself and Jimmy (Duffy) believe can still take his game to another level. We're pleased he will continue that process and commitment with his home province.

"Ben has been unfortunate with injury in his first season with us but we have been impressed with his professional attitude and hunger to improve. We also believe he has the ability to progress his game further.

"There is really good competition in the second row position and the hard work that Browney and Ben put in will help the continued success and growth of our forward pack."

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