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Robbie Henshaw: We want to turn the Sportsground into a fortress

Ireland international Robbie Henshaw says Connacht must build on their early season form and turn the Sportsground into a fortress.

The young centre put in a man-of-the-match performance in Guinness PRO12 defeat of Munster in Galway on New Year's Day and follows on from victory over Leinster earlier in the season.

Unbeaten at home all season, they sit comfortably in mid-table and are just eight points off table-toppers Ospreys.

Pat Lam's side will hope to continue that form at home to Edinburgh on Friday night in front of an expectant crowd and the Athlone-native believes that victory over Munster, just their second in the professional era, was testament to their form all season at the Sportsground.

"We haven't beaten Munster in quite a while, one win in six years I think, so it was good to get the win over them," he admitted.

"We had a good performance, we were pretty happy with it but we know it wasn't perfect. There were things we could have done better. We're moving forward and looking forward to Edinburgh this weekend."

"We're looking to build a fortress at home in the Sportsground. We want to make life tough for any team that travels there."

"It's going good at the moment and we're unbeaten in eight games so will try and hold that record."

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Connacht's Robbie Henshaw, left, and Kieran Marmion celebrate after victory over Munster

Connacht's Robbie Henshaw, left, and Kieran Marmion celebrate after victory over Munster

SPORTSFILE

Connacht's Robbie Henshaw, left, and Kieran Marmion celebrate after victory over Munster

With the likes of Henshaw, Kieran Marmion, Darragh Leader, Eoin McKeon all making valuable contributions since their introduction to the squad, the versatile back credits Academy Manager Nigel Carolan as a major influence in developing talent in the west.

The former Connacht player, who was recently appointed Ireland U-20 coach, has overseen huge progress at underage level which is now manifesting itself at senior level, with second row Ultan Dillane the latest to be elevated to Pat Lam's squad.

"There is a lot of underage coming through. Ultan Dillane, a second row originally from Tralee, he came through Nigel's academy. There is myself, Kieran Marmion, a number of lads in the team that came through."

"Nigel's work is unbelievable and it's paying off."

Speaking at the Aviva Health launches Schools’ Fitness Challenge 2015, Henshaw admitted that old-school diets are very much a thing of the past for the modern-day athlete and that parents have a big role to play in their children's nutrition.

"I think it can be transferred down from parents in how they eat and diet. I think the old days of a fry-up before a game, that's long gone."

"Parents can definitely help with their children's diet to get them into a good routine of eating healthy and how good it can be for your body."

Online Editors