JOE – 2012

Leinster are prepared to sign former Connacht lock Damien Browne as a replacement for Nathan Hines, who will leave the province at the end of the season.

Browne (pictured in Northampton colours above), who currently plays for French outfit Brive, is out of contract with the French side in the summer and is set to return to Ireland having left Connacht seven seasons ago to join Aviva Premiership side Northampton Saints.

According to the Irish Independent this morning, Leinster set their sights on Browne once it became clear that former Perpignan second row Hines is to return to France next season to join Joe Schmidt’s former side Clermont Auvergne.

The former Ireland under-21 international, brother of current Connacht forward Andrew, has spent the last three seasons with Brive and although he did not feature in the Amlin Challenge Cup defeat to Munster at the weekend due to a back injury, he is in line to play against Biarritz in the Top 14 this weekend”