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Robbie Henshaw Opens Up On The "Funny Feeling" Of Beating Leinster In The PRO12 Final

Robbie Henshaw Opens Up On The "Funny Feeling" Of Beating Leinster In The PRO12 Final
By Conor O'Leary
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It's been a whirlwind few months for Robbie Henshaw. From the furore about his move east to Leinster, to winning the PRO12 ahead of his new team, and then the emotional rollercoaster that was the South African tour - he definitely earned his recent holiday to Barbados.

But Henshaw was back in Dublin yesterday, helping the IRFU officially launch their new kit - complete with interesting training gear - but more on that later. The new Leinster signing was there to talk about everything and everything - his injury, who he thinks should replace Joe Schmidt as Ireland coach, and what he's feeling about his move.

First thing, Henshaw confirmed that he will be out for a while. He's pushing it to make the start of the Champions Cup - but more realistically he wants to be match fit enough to travel to Chicago to face New Zealand. He knew at the time it was going to be a bad one:

I knew straight away there was something wrong. I felt something go and I couldn’t straighten it. I tried to get up and walk it off but it wasn’t allowing me and I knew it wasn’t good.

To be optimistic I’d be aiming for before [Chicago], maybe for the European games in the Champions Cup. But to be honest I can’t say.

I have a check up next week with the surgeon and I’ll know more then. I’ve been told to completely switch off and keep it in the brace and not do anything really and let it mend.


One major downside to his injury is that he won't get the benefits of pitch time with incoming consultant Graham Henry. The New Zealand world cup winning coach is due in Dublin soon, and while his expertise weren't part of the package to bring Henshaw east - that's the sort of thing he was looking for when he signed up:


Even just for me, the change needed to come. I’ve been there a long time. I needed the change for myself as well and to go and get experience off guys who have got to that next level, for example Jonny Sexton, Jamie Heaslip, guys who have played in the Lions team.

Obviously Connacht did a lot for me over the years as well, skills-wise and development-wise as well, but hopefully now I can get to that next level. I love a challenge, I want to keep improving my game.

I’ll never settle to not improve my game so I think that’s one of the reasons. I need to be pushed by other guys, that’s one of the things that you need to improve.

Of course, it was a strange feeling beating his new team to silverware just before joining - but Henshaw is more interested in how that left his Connacht legacy:

Obviously leaving by winning and beating Leinster, the team I was going to, it was kind of a funny feeling. But it was just incredible for Connacht because they hadn’t won silverware ever. To do that in my time I’ve been with them is definitely memorable.

It was the perfect way to leave.

He doesn't leave Connacht with any ill feelings though, and is even championing Pat Lam as a strong candidate to replace Joe Schmidt as Ireland coach if and when Schmidt decides to leave. Schmidt's future is the subject of an unreal amount of speculation, with the Ireland coach yet to decide whether to stay on past his current contract that runs out next June:

I think he’ll definitely be considered. There’s a lot of names around, I’m not sure who’s in for it if it comes up, but... I think what he’s done is incredible.

It took a couple of years for his game-plan to get settled in but once we were comfortable with it we reaped the positives from it. He’d definitely be considered, he’s a top class coach.

[Irish Examiner]

See Also: Robbie Henshaw A Serious Doubt For Leinster's Champions Cup Games

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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