Saturday 16 February 2019

Henshaw slots back into Blues' systems

Leinster centres Robbie Henshaw, left, and Garry Ringrose during a Leinster rugby squad training session at Rosemount, UCD in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Leinster centres Robbie Henshaw, left, and Garry Ringrose during a Leinster rugby squad training session at Rosemount, UCD in Dublin. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Robbie Henshaw insists that the returning Ireland players have had no problem slotting back into Leinster's systems as they ramped up their preparations for tomorrow's mouthwatering Champions Cup quarter-final clash against Wasps.

Henshaw hasn't been involved with the Leinster squad since January which poses its own difficulties, especially for a player who is still relatively new to the set-up but he admitted that the transition has been seamless.

"We were back in planning since last Thursday, we got a few days then which was beneficial to us, just to get back into the rhythm of things and on the same page," the centre said.

"There are no issues there coming back in and getting the right terminology back on track."

Henshaw didn't feature in last week's dramatic win over Cardiff but he warned that there will have to be a massive step up in performance if Leinster are to overcome the Premiership leaders.

Leinster's defence was caught cold out wide on a couple of occasions and with Wasps posing serious threats right across the back-line, Leo Cullen's side must be wary.

"They scored a few breakaway tries on the back of a few of our ball-handling errors," Henshaw said.

"We were a little bit loose and we will look to fix that this week. Wasps are a massive counter-attacking team and like Cardiff, they will punish us if we are like that.

"There are a few fixes and learnings we need. It's great to come through with the win, better we had that eye-opener last week rather than having it this week."

Henshaw will come up against some familiar foes after England played at the Aviva two weeks ago and he warned that the key to stopping Wasps gaining a foothold is to ensure that Joe Launchbury isn't allowed to set the tone early.

Appetite

"I think his appetite for work-rate is incredible and he just gets around the pitch so much, gets on ball, he is very dynamic for such a big man," he added.

"He is very hard to stop if he gets up a head of steam, so it is up to us in defence - our line-speed has to come up and meet them before they gather that kind of momentum.

"In the tighter channels I could end up tackling him but yeah they play expansively and Joe Launchbury as well and all their back-rowers and second-rowers are able to play out the back-row shapes and they are able to hit backs.

"They are able to pass the ball well, that's where they could be quite deceptive, you might think they are going to truck it up at you and they put it out the back out to one of their fast players."

Irish Independent

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