GET OUT AND FALLS OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS. Last year, Robbie Henshaw was the golden boy of Irish rugby, playing the best rugby of his career with a schedule in only one direction.
He started all three tests for the British and Irish Lions in South Africa and took all the individual awards offered home, the center was named Player of the Year among male players by his peers at the 2021 Irish Rugby Awards Ceremony before adding Guinness Rugby Writers of the Year. to his mantle.
So far this season has been less enjoyable for the 28-year-old, who is now recognized as a true world-class talent.
His Leinster statistics boil down to just 203 minutes of rugby, spread over three appearances in November, December and January, with the province’s calendar broken by Covid not helping.
He only played in the international tournament once in November, getting 66 minutes in the lungs against Argentina when he didn’t win in New Zealand. The “stop-start” character of his season carried over to the Six Nations, Henshaw was not part of the team in the first-round win against Wales before being pulled from the bench for the last 17 minutes in Paris last week.
“Yeah, this year has been a little tough for me,” Henshaw says.
I feel fresh, honestly, so I’m ready to go. I’ve been training away for the last couple of weeks and I’m ready to take a step forward. Obviously, the stop-start season for me was not perfect, but I hope for a stronger finish in the second half of the season.
“The body feels good, mentally I feel good, I feel sharp, so it’s exciting.”
However, even for a quality player Henshaw the path to the starting team of Ireland is not easy. This is perhaps the most competitive area on Andy Farrell’s team: Harry Ringrose and Bundy Aki had a good first two weekends, and James Hume of Ulster is also throwing his hat in the ring.
“It’s all about waiting for your opportunity,” Henshaw explains.
Bundy Aki and Robbie Henshaw during a workout in Ireland today.
Source: Billy Stickland / INPHO
“The guys are going very well, fair play with them. It was a good start and they were building. But for me it’s just sticking to my process and what I’ve accomplished. I have a lot of confidence in that. So don’t try to force things, just do the right things in your workouts and be positive. All I can worry about is myself and making sure I’m doing the right thing. “
This was more or less a message he received from Farrell before entering the fire at the Stade de France, in a testing environment for a player who wants to find his feet again at this level.
“We talked briefly and it was just to make sure I was ready to go, add value wherever you could, don’t try to stand out and do everything yourself.
“It was more to bring energy as soon as you enter the game to the end and make sure you really show that you raise her energy. This is the same for all subjects. They, in fact, set the energy when they go out on the field, it’s a huge role for everyone who comes off the bench. “
As Farrell released a number of players in the province this weekend, Henshaw remained with the Irish national team to return his season to proper mode and add to his 54 test matches.
And although the Grand Slam tournament is no longer in the plans, Henshaw still feels that there is a championship to play for.
“Obviously a disappointing result for us (in France). We all looked back on it several times, both together and separately.
“Yesterday we had a good meeting and it was hard to watch because we clearly felt we had them.
“The most frustrating was probably just not realizing and not taking advantage of these opportunities, but again, to turn it into a positive, it’s probably just another step along the way, so that’s how we learn from it and how we start and turn it into a positive ”.
Havana Casey is joined by Bernard Jackman and Murray Kinsella to discuss South Africa’s prospect of replacing Italy in six nations and reflect on Ireland’s performance in Paris before taking a look at the URC’s action this weekend.
Source: Rugby Weekly The42/ SoundCloud