Tuesday 25 July 2017

Robbie Henshaw to miss the start of Leinster's season as he backs Pat Lam for Ireland job

Robbie Henshaw has backed Pat Lam for the Ireland job should Joe Schmidt not renew his contract
Robbie Henshaw has backed Pat Lam for the Ireland job should Joe Schmidt not renew his contract
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Robbie Henshaw will miss the start of Leinster's season due to the knee injury that he picked up playing for Ireland in South Africa last month.

The 23-year-old damaged ligaments in his left knee and missed the third and final Test.

Henshaw was initially told that he was facing up to four months out injured and he is targeting a return for the beginning of his new club's Champions Cup campaign in October.

The news comes as a blow to Henshaw who was eager to hit the ground running at Leinster and it also leaves him a race to be fit in time for Ireland's clash against New Zealand in Chicago on November 5.

Henshaw is due to meet his surgeon next week when he will have a clearer picture on his return date and he admitted that missing the start of the season was tough to take.

"It's not an ideal start for me," he said. "I was pretty shocked to hear when it happened.

'Henshaw is due to meet his surgeon next week when he will have a clearer picture on his return date.' Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
'Henshaw is due to meet his surgeon next week when he will have a clearer picture on his return date.' Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

"It's one of my first big enough lower limb injuries. It's not ideal. Starting with a new club you want to make a massive impact from the get go so it's not a good start for me. The only thing I can do is do the best I can to recover and get back."

Henshaw revealed that he had been in contact with his new coach Leo Cullen and that he has told him not to rush his return.

The former Connacht centre is due in Leinster HQ next week when he will be properly introduced to his new surrounds.

Having left the Pro12 champions for the beaten finalists Leinster, Henshaw insisted that he had no regrets.

He also backed Pat Lam to replace Joe Schmidt should the Ireland coach opt against extending his contract.

Read more: Losing Schmidt would leave a big void - O'Driscoll

Schmidt is due to inform the IRFU whether or not he is staying on for the 2019 World Cup and Henshaw conceded that it would be a massive blow if he leaves.

"It's tough, but it's completely understandable," Henshaw maintained. "Joe is in a very difficult situation with what he's going to do, few personal reasons with his family as well. It's his decision completely and as a team, we'll back whatever he chooses to do, but I suppose to lose him will be bad for us.

Read more: Robbie Henshaw out of final South Africa test and will undergo knee surgery

"He opened my eyes to that next level, at the international level - the level of detail that's needed to succeed."

Henshaw however believes that should Schmidt return to New Zealand, Lam would be an ideal replacement.

"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 at Connacht 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. He'd definitely be considered, he's a top class coach."

Henshaw was speaking at the launch of Ireland's new Canterbury jersey which is available to buy now from shop.irishrugby.ie and canterbury.com

Irish Independent

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