Thursday 19 October 2017

Henshaw set to miss out on Sportsground return as Blues shuffle deck

Robbie Henshaw look set to miss out on a return to his old stomping ground. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Robbie Henshaw look set to miss out on a return to his old stomping ground. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

He wasn't naming names, but John Fogarty confirmed that Leinster would be shuffling their deck once again for this weekend's visit to Galway.

Having rested Johnny Sexton, Luke McGrath, Cian Healy, Garry Ringrose and Sean O'Brien for Saturday's Guinness PRO12 win over Ospreys, Leo Cullen is likely to hand his remaining internationals a break for the trip to Connacht, which would mean Robbie Henshaw missing out on a return to his old stomping ground.

The centre swapped the green jersey for blue last summer and has yet to face his old team, having been left out of the Christmas meeting of the sides.

Jack McGrath, Dan Leavy, Devin Toner, Tadhg Furlong and shoulder victim Jack Conan could all join Henshaw on the sidelines this weekend as the other front-liners return as Cullen manages his resources ahead of next week's clash with Clermont.

"This time of the season, there's a lot of rugby played and a bit of rugby ahead of us," scrum coach Fogarty said.

"There is going to be some management, but there's other players back who were (rested) last week."

Languishing

The game is a re-match of last year's PRO12 final, but while Leinster are flying high a-top the ladder the champions are languishing in seventh.

"Through the season it's been well documented for them that they've lost some players," Fogarty said.

"Aly Mudowney going, he was pivotal to what they did in attack, but watching them… I watched them play Glasgow and they attacked relentlessly.

"A lot of the great stuff that won them the league last year is still there. They still attack relentlessly at you, they can own the ball like they did in the first half of that Glasgow game.

"They can own the ball and starve you of possession.

"So they're doing a lot of good stuff really, really well and you could see it against Wasps.

"Other teams have made adjustments to the style of play that Connacht have, that maybe is a small bit of a difference.

"A combination of the injuries they've had and losing a few players also added to it.

"In the competition, teams may have adjusted to how they attack, they still find it really hard to defend against them.

"I know Stuart (Lancaster) is excited about this week, because this is a unique team to defend against, they attack in a different way to a lot of other teams and they have that ambition to attack which creates a lot of opportunities."

Irish Independent

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