Connacht locks Andrew Browne and Ben Marshall have penned fresh deals with the Pro12 high-fliers.  

Pat Lam's side are on the crest of a wave at the moment, their 28-23 victory over Edinburgh last Friday night keeping them clear at the top of the table.

The head coach hailed both players and said tying them down was a real boost to the province.

"Browney [Andrew Bronwe] 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," he said.

"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."

Browne, a product of the Connacht Academy, is currently in his 10th season with his native province. The Galway man made his senior debut against Cardiff in April 2007, the same year he represented Ireland U-20s in their Six Nations Grand Slam success.

He has since racked up 136 appearances across both European and PRO12 competitions and was one of nine players to travel to Tsbisli as part of the Emerging Ireland squad in the summer.

Another promising player on that same Emerging Ireland tour was second row Ben Marshall who had just signed with Connacht from Leinster. In his first season at the Sportsground, the 25-year-old suffered two arm injuries that kept his game time limited but last month he returned to start in both victories over Zebre and Ospreys.

"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," said Browne.

"We have a strong squad that is only getting better and better and it's a really exciting time to be involved."

Marshall echoed Browne's sentiments, and said he's eyeing silver to cap off what's been a remarkable campaign so far out west: "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."