Friday 23 August 2019

We have not revisited 2015 loss to Pumas, says Henshaw

Robbie Henshaw. Photo: Sportsfile
Robbie Henshaw. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Robbie Henshaw insists that Ireland's disappointing exit from the 2015 World Cup in England isn't being used as motivation to get things right in Japan.

Henshaw partnered Keith Earls in the centre four years ago when Ireland were humbled 40-23 in the quarter-final against Argentina.

Having won the first of his 37 caps in the summer of 2013 in the USA, he said little or nothing has been mentioned about how that World Cup dream fizzled out.

"Not necessarily. We've just come and we've enjoyed our training session. We started with all our strength work and our speed work and just building those blocks, building those foundations," Henshaw said.

"I think if you're lucky enough to experience it, it's a great feeling being involved. Any player that's been there will always remember their last ones and how enjoyable they were, so that's probably an individual focus from my perspective."

The Irish squad has changed a lot since then - the starting 15 that day in Cardiff included the likes of Tommy Bowe, Ian Madigan, Mike Ross, Chris Henry and Jamie Heaslip - so Henshaw says it is all about this current group setting their own targets.

Breakthrough

He was back in Galway last week for a camp with Ireland, back in the Sportsground where he made the breakthrough for Connacht in 2012 and, having turned 26 last month, he is better able to deal with pre-season preparations.

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"You learn as you go through your years as a pro you can't just take your three-and-a-half weeks off and do nothing. Maybe you can take the first four or five days off completely. But then you need to gradually start doing stuff to be prepared for what is to come."

He's excited about heading to Japan for the first time, having been on Lions duty when Ireland toured there in 2017.

"Speaking to the boys that toured there two years ago, they said it was an incredible country. They really enjoyed the culture. It was really different to what they experienced on tour before.

"The people were unbelievably welcoming and the food was great. The humidity was a talking point for everyone. But apart from that, the little bit of moving around will be different."

Henshaw likes the idea of moving the Irish camp around the country in preparation for Japan and this week they have set up in Limerick.

There will be a down week to follow and then a fortnight at the National Sports Complex in the build-up to the first of the warm-up game against Italy on August 10.

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