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Byrne twins are aiming to make a breakthrough with Leinster



Determined: Bryan Byrne

Determined: Bryan Byrne

Determined: Bryan Byrne

Having watched his twin brother Ed get his European career up and running with Leinster, Bryan Byrne is determined to match him stride for stride.

The Carlow natives have been highly rated in the set-up since their days at Clongowes, but with the front-row stocks well and truly brimming with talent, they have had to bide their time to get an opportunity.

Ed's progress was stalled by a succession of serious knee injuries that makes his achievement in coming off the bench in both wins over Bath all the more impressive.

There is no jealousy from his twin brother, only a desire to emulate his achievements by getting back into the European squad himself.

"I'm delighted for him," he says of Ed. "The couple of weeks I thought he was going very well. It makes me not playing easier, watching him playing, so there wouldn't be twin envy! I'd be supporting him.

"It's great seeing him going so well. For me, I just feel that if I was in that position I could do the same job, so it helps pushing me on as well.

"He had an awful time of it. Thankfully now he's in full fitness and playing very well.

"Obviously it gives massive perspective for him. He can look back and say, 'Jeez, I've come through everything to be here today', so I think that's just an extra incentive for him saying, 'I've been through it all now so I'm going to go here and enjoy this and put my best foot forward to stay in the team'."

The 25-year-old hooker has two European starts but has struggled to break Seán Cronin and James Tracy's stranglehold on the No.2 and No.16 jerseys.

He hopes to turn his training-ground effort into appearances in the Christmas interpros - starting at home to Connacht tomorrow night.

"For the weeks you are on the bench you try to bring that impact," he says.

"Connacht are going very well," he adds.

Belfast Telegraph