Rugby: Edinburgh star on a high for Munster clash

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Tom BROWN has dedicated his first competitive try for Edinburgh Rugby to younger brother Robbie as he looks forward to trying to emulate a key European touchdown when the RaboDirect Pro 12 League continues with a game at Munster tomorrow.

The 21-year-old second-half substitute more than paid his way with the fifth of Edinburgh’s six tries in an amazing comeback that paved the way for an epic 48-47 victory over Racing Metro at Murrayfield to maintain a run of three straight wins in all competitions. And the only disappointment for ex-Edinburgh Accies and Currie prospect Brown was that his 13-year-old Robbie was unable to attend.

“Although my parents were in the crowd unfortunately Robbie, a centre in his Heriot’s age-group team, decided to stay at home and complete some school homework; what a match he missed but he is keen on rugby as I saw when watching me play for Heriot’s against Glasgow Academy recently and wanted to hear how things had turned out.

“For all of this week there has still been plenty of chat in the papers about how we came back to beat Racing. People have been coming up and remarking on the outcome or going on social networking sites to exchange views.

“So far as I’m concerned the memory of my involvement - and my first Edinburgh try - will live with me forever.”

While putting the emphasis on a trip to Thomond Park, Limerick, Brown was happy to recall his European debut, saying: “I came on with the team 21 points down and instructions to ‘run everything’ which suited me perfectly because that is the style I like to play.

“Stuart McInally made three carries and I was out on the wing with my arm raised calling for the ball as I knew there was a bit of space. The ball then came wide and Greig [Laidlaw] broke the line with a good bit of footwork before reaching me. I thought I had a bit of room but, in fact, I was tackled over the line – not that it really mattered because I could not have asked for more.

“I was fortunate enough to score tries for Edinburgh in both of the last two pre-season programmes but a competitive try in the European Cup is special.”

Brown, who will make his fourth league start to add to eight appearances off the bench tomorrow, was an unused substitute when Munster were beaten 29-14 at Murrayfield in September.

“I couldn’t have any complaints because of the way the team were playing that night. It wouldn’t have made sense to disrupt the line-up.

“However, it has made me all the more hungry to experience Thomond Park and I really hope to find myself confronted by a full strength Munster line-up.

“If matches like Racing Metro are the reason why you play rugby as a player you always want to challenge yourself against the best.”

In Brown’s case that could mean going head-to-head on the wing with Doug Howlett, a one-time record All Black try scorer.

Bring it on is the message from Brown, who added: “I can’t wait to learn whether Doug Howlett will be starting because there is nothing better than facing the best players around.

“They obviously have an impressive record as reigning league champions but our run, which started with winning at Treviso just after they had put 50 points on Dragons, gives us confidence.

“It’s still hard to get my head around exactly how we came back to beat Metro but that has given us a confidence to know we can win anywhere, including Munster.”