Robbie Henshaw living the dream with ‘team I was born and bred into’

A ‘fired-up’ Toulouse expected to bring more physicality and intensity

Robbie Henshaw: “I was fairly disappointed to get the try ruled out.”

Robbie Henshaw: “I was fairly disappointed to get the try ruled out.”


Not the least pleasing aspect to Connacht’s win in Toulouse last Sunday was that in addition to the mix of long-standing warriors and seasoned imports, was a fair sprinkling of home-grown products of the province’s burgeoning academy.

Kieran Marmion, Eoin Griffin, Mick Kearney, Eoin McKeon and Denis Buckley all contributed handsomely, with the thrice-capped Robbie Henshaw providing a real cutting edge.

Reverting to full-back, Henshaw’s strong line up the touchline, fending off Jean-Pascal Barraque and flipping a one-handed, under-arm offload to Fionn Carr in the build-up to Marmion’s match-winning try was a highlight; the pity being that his long-range finish off Gavin Duffy’s offload and Marmion’s pass was ruled out by the TMO’s questionable call for an earlier knock-on.

Henshaw described last Sunday’s win as “definitely up there with the best experiences I’ve had in my professional career” even if there remained one abiding regret. “The atmosphere was unbelievable and you could even hear the Connacht support behind the posts, and I was fairly disappointed to get the try ruled out after running in behind the sticks and the supporters there beside me. It was probably the most physical game I’ve played in all year and the intensity was really high.”

More physicality
Henshaw is expecting a “fired-up” Toulouse to bring more physicality and intensity, more akin to their win at Wembley over Saracens on the second weekend. “We just have to stand up and match that, and come out as a true Connacht player and the true Connacht team that we are, and just show a lot of heart and match it.”

For a 20-year-old product of Marist College, he would have dreamt of games such as next Saturday’s at the Sportsground against the four-time winners when he recently signed a new two-year deal with Connacht.
“It’s great for the province and it’s great for Galway, to have the Heineken Cup here and to see French giants like Toulouse here.”

“A few years ago I was studying for my Leaving Cert at home,” he said in reference to Connacht’s first Heineken Cup home game against Toulouse two years ago, when he was sitting his ‘mock’ exams. “But I was amazed by the whole thing, the fireworks and having the Heineken Cup here, and now I’m playing with the team I was born and bred into. It’s unbelievable, and I just can’t wait for it.”