Friday 19 January 2018

Robbie Henshaw's impending move to Leinster 'hugely disappointing' says former Irish international

Connacht's Robbie Henshaw
Connacht's Robbie Henshaw
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Former Leinster prop Paul Wallace believes the IRFU would be making a mistake if they gave the green light to Robbie Henshaw's proposed switch from Connacht to the Blues.

The Ireland star has been strongly linked with a move from west to east when his current contract comes up at the end of the season. He is set to open discussions with Union performance director David Nucifora in the next week as he contemplates his next step.

While Nucifora is trying to encourage more movement between the provinces in order to increase the options available to Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, Wallace has warned that a Henshaw move would send out the wrong message.

The Union cannot force a player to move between the provinces or stay where they are, but they will play a big role in his decision.

"By all accounts Henshaw is coming to Leinster, but for me that's hugely disappointing that in the strongest growing area in Ireland they take away the marquee player," the 1997 Lion said.

"I could never imagine it being allowed at IRFU level for Paul O'Connell to come to Leinster or Brian O'Driscoll to go to Munster. So when you have these marquee names I think it's very unfair that he should be brought across, and (it is) a big kick to Connacht.

"For all the bad news of the three major provinces, what they've been doing in Connacht, both on and off the pitch, has been remarkable, and they should be helped and applauded, rather than go down and poach all the young talent that they've brought through."

Leinster coach Leo Cullen and his Munster counterpart Anthony Foley will both name their sides at noon today ahead of their crunch clashes against Toulon and Leicester Tigers at the weekend.

Foley hopes is set to recall a host of big names including Conor Murray after last week's disappointing defeat to Dragons.

Irish Independent

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