Rugby

George Hook Absolutely Rips Into The Idea Of Robbie Henshaw Joining Leinster

George Hook Absolutely Rips Into The Idea Of Robbie Henshaw Joining Leinster

Ever since Robbie Henshaw made his breakthrough into the Irish team, rumours of a move to Leinster have followed him everywhere he goes.

Now, with his Connacht contract winding down, the rumours are more persistent than ever, and one man who is seriously unimpressed by those rumours is George Hook.

The retired RTÉ rugby panelist took to his column in The Independent to explain just why he feels that a Henshaw move to Leinster would be a 'disgrace', and he didn't hold back.

Hook suggested that on current form, Connacht are in a better position to fly the flag for Ireland in Europe's elite club competition, rather than Leinster, and claimed that Henshaw moving to Dublin would make it look like Connacht is a feeder farm for the other provinces:

What kind of message is the IRFU sending to Connacht players and supporters if, as soon as there is a hint of success, the best young players are stripped away and packed off to other teams? How are Connacht supposed to develop and improve if they are continually treated like a feeder farm for their provincial rivals?

SEE ALSO: 12 Photos Of Robbie Henshaw Doing Miscellaneous Things

It's tough to argue with that. It's happened many times before, but if Leinster were to pluck Connacht's prized asset in the situation both teams find themselves in currently, then it would be a bit of a slap in the face to the fans who attend the Galway Sportsgrounds week in, week out.

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Another point Hook was eager to make is that there will be little financial benefit for Henshaw to switch to the blue jersey, and he argues that Robbie would be better served continuing his development under Connacht boss Pat Lam:

Money should not be an issue for Henshaw, as he is currently on a central contract from the Union and will be eligible for a significant top-up from private investment when his current deal expires next summer. And, with a young, talented, cohesive squad around him in Connacht, I am at a loss as to why he would even consider leaving Galway for the current mess that is Leinster.

If Henshaw wants to further his playing development, he should look no further than his current head coach.

Leinster face Bath on Saturday in what represents the last chance to save their season, and Hook believes that with the talent emerging at Connacht, losing Henshaw to their provincial rivals would be a disgrace:

Connacht are in the process of building a competitive brand that supporters can identify with. Exciting young players like Kieran Marmion, Danie Poolman, Jack Carty, Craig Ronaldson and Darragh Leader provide the perfect accompaniment to the wise old heads like John Muldoon and Nathan White. Henshaw's centre partnership with Bundee Aki is currently the best midfield unit in the country.

Now, because Leinster click their fingers and because the IRFU is not strong enough to stand over Connacht's development, the brightest star is being whisked away. It is nothing short of a disgrace.

The rumours show no sign of dying down, so Connacht fans face an anxious wait to see whether or not one of their most important figures will continue to have a team built around him where he is, or make the move to Leinster.

You can read Hook's thoughts in full over on Independent.ie, and our own Conor O'Leary has also outlined Why A Robbie Henshaw Move To Leinster Would Be Terrible For Irish Rugby.

Mikey Traynor

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