Pat Lam insists Robbie Henshaw is going nowhere

Connacht coach says centre will see out his contract despite arrival of Bundee Aki

Robbie Henshaw staying with  Connacht, says Pat Lam. Photograph: Morgan Treacy / Inpho

Robbie Henshaw staying with Connacht, says Pat Lam. Photograph: Morgan Treacy / Inpho

Mon, Apr 14, 2014, 16:55

Connacht coach pat Lam has insisted Robbie Henshaw is not leaving the province despite the arrival of former Chiefs centre Bundee Aki from New Zealand.

The 24-year-old, Lam says, is merely a replacement for Eoin Griffin, who is going to London Irish, and the retiring Kyle Tonetti. Henshaw, he added, is staying to see out his contract until 2016.

“Obviously we had to look at signing a midfielder when we knew we’d be without Griffin and Tonetti next year,” said Lam today. “We also anticipate that Robbie (Henshaw) will be away in camp during the international windows and we have to make sure we are covered in that area.

“There has been a lot of talk in the last week about the possibility of Robbie leaving Connacht for another Irish province. Robbie signed a new deal this season that says he will be playing at the Sportsground until 2016 at least. He showed that he is happy here playing with his home province. There are no plans for him to move before then.

“The IRFU have been very supportive of Connacht and what we are trying to achieve here. I have a very good relationship with Joe (Schmidt) and there are good lines of communication between us. We talk regularly on games and players and he is especially supportive of the Connacht rugby programme going forward.

“We look forward to confirming some more player signings in the coming weeks for the 2014/15 season.”

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