Tony Ward: Humble Henshaw a true star rising in the west
Even by Roy of the Rovers standards, it's been quite an extraordinary year for Connacht Rugby Players' Player of the Year, Robbie Henshaw.
Mapped as the heir apparent to the consummate superstar, he has carried the challenge of succeeding Brian O'Driscoll with confidence, with competence but more than anything with enormous dignity.
A very good rugby friend of mine, regularly repeats the mantra that he likes his heroes to be nice guys. It is a view I happen to share. Eric Elwood was recently voted the greatest Connacht player ever or something to that effect. My views on Elwood are pretty well-established so there is no alternative suggestion from this quarter.
Henshaw may well threaten that mantle in time, though, pending longevity and form for the province he loves. That said, the former Marist College schoolboy has already assumed a status like no other Connacht rugby player before, Elwood included.
He is without doubt the western province's first genuine rugby superstar and more to the point he carries that status with humility.
From what I hear, there is no danger of that changing.