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Reports: Schmidt May Pull Henshaw Positional Surprise Against England

Reports: Schmidt May Pull Henshaw Positional Surprise Against England

Robbie Henshaw could make a surprise start at fullback in this weekend's Six Nations opener against England.

Gavin Cummiskey reports in today's Irish Times, as did Liam Heagney for Rugbypass earlier in the week, that signs point to Joe Schmidt selecting the Leinster back in the number 15 jersey.

It's said that Henshaw has trained at fullback in the build-up to Saturday's game at the Aviva and that he may have played there for one of the November internationals had he not been injured.

Henshaw began his provincial career with Connacht at fullback before being converted to a centre. The 25-year-old made his Ireland debut at fullback against USA in 2013 but all 35 of his subsequent caps have been won in midfield.

The possible move comes following a rusty performance from Rob Kearney in Leinster's win against Scarlets at the weekend. While the majority of his Ireland teammates were in Ireland camp, Kearney stayed with Leinster to earn some game time. The 32-year-old had missed both of Leinster's January Champions Cup games due to injury. Kearney missed a number of tackles in Friday's game at the RDS.

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Ireland's abundant options at centre means Joe Schmidt would not be short at 12 or 13 should he move Henshaw to the backfield. In addition to Henshaw, he can also select from Will Addison, Bundee Aki, Chris Farrell, Tom Farrell and Garry Ringrose.

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

See Also: The Texts Joe Schmidt Sent Will Addison While At Sale Are Telling

PJ Browne
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