Henshaw's new two-year deal a welcome boost for Connacht
ROBBIE HENSHAW has given beleaguered Connacht a timely shot in the arm by signing a new deal with the province.
The 20-year-old, cast among a seemingly limitless list of putative successors to Brian O'Driscoll's midfield berth for Ireland, has extended his current contract by two years until 2016.
"I'm absolutely delighted to have signed a new contract," said Henshaw, who came on as a replacement for O'Driscoll against Australia earlier this month.
"Playing for Ireland was a huge honour and I was so proud to be representing my home province as well as my country.
"It's been an unbelievable 15 months. I'm so happy that I was given my first chance here at Connacht and, hopefully, I will continue to improve."
Henshaw made his name as a rampaging full-back with a searing ability to hit the line, but the Irish management have persuaded Connacht to shift him to the centre as they begin to assess succession options at 13.
At just 19, Henshaw made his Ireland debut against the United States last June, before also featuring in the second test against Canada.
A former Westmeath minor footballer, who came through the rugby ranks at Buccaneers RFC, Henshaw played for Ireland's U-18s, 19s and 20s before graduating to the Wolfhounds against England Saxons last January.
Prior to signing for the Connacht Academy under noted talent-spotter Nigel Carolan, Henshaw captained Marist College to the Connacht title in March 2012 -- a first in 35 years. He follows Kieran Marmion, Willie Faloon, Craig Ronaldson and Matt Healy in agreeing a new deal with Connacht, who have endured a horrendous start to the season, winning just one of their eight Pro12 games.