Saturday 14 December 2019

Henshaw: 'I don't think I've hit bigger guys in my life'

Declan Whooley

Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw admitted he was "shocked" by the physicality of South Africa, but quickly came to terms with the task at hand during yesterday's victory at the Aviva Stadium.

The young Connacht star found himself in the unfamiliar position of inside centre where he was partnered by Ulster's Jared Payne, but the pair acquitted themselves well as Ireland enjoyed a 14 point victory over the team ranked number two in world rugby.

The traditional power and physicality of the Springboks was evident from the first whistle and Henshaw admitted afterwards that it was a baptism of fire against the southern hemisphere side.

"It was a massive step up, I don't think I've hit bigger guys in my life," he said.

"I was quite shocked by the size of them. I got used to it after a couple of hits."

The 20 year-old said he was happy with his own performance but also praised his team-mates for their advice both during the week and on the pitch.

"I was pretty happy with my performance, a few little things I can work on. Overall I learned a little bit as well so I was quite happy out there."

"D'Arce gave me a hand during the week. He said just do as you do at 13 but just one slot in."

"I was quite comfortable, I had two good guys either side of me."

The centre also added that Jared Payne and Jonathan Sexton were vocal throughout the game which made the transition to the number 12 jersey more comfortable.

"They were talking all night. During the week they really helped me out."

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