| 12.7°C Dublin

Robbie Henshaw fit ahead of opening Lions test against South Africa


Robbie Henshaw in action for the Lions

Robbie Henshaw in action for the Lions

Robbie Henshaw in action for the Lions

Robbie Henshaw has shown no ill-effects of his recent hamstring injury in the days that followed his return for the Lions last weekend.

The Ireland centre got through 57 minutes in the Lions' 49-3 win over the Stormers, as he was replaced early with this week's first Test against South Africa in mind.

Having struggled with the hamstring issue in the first few weeks of the tour, Henshaw has put himself right back into the selection mix for one of the midfield spots for Saturday's mouthwatering showdown with the Springboks.

“No ill-effects, it is really good to have him back performing, it is really good to have a healthy squad going into the first test,” Lions defence coach Steve Tandy said.

Lions boss Warren Gatland and his backroom staff are still finalising the match-day 23 and although Finn Russell is set to miss out with his Achilles injury, Welsh duo Dan Biggar and Liam Williams are winning their race to be fit.

“There are going to be massive decisions,” Tandy admitted.

“There are going to be a lot of unlucky players. They represent the Lions. We had an initial selection meeting last night which was a long one, covering all bases, a lot of people have put their hands up.

“It is a great place for us as coaches to be. There will be bitter disappointment but I believe in this squad there is such a tight connection that everyone will be geared up to winning that first Test whether you are in the 23 or not.

“It (meeting) was probably an hour and a half, maybe longer, talking. It was a good initial one. We were becoming clearer and clearer as we went along and we will confirm that and Gats will announce that at an appropriate time.

Rugby Newsletter

Subscribe to 'The Collision' for a weekly update from Rugby Correspondent Ruaidhri O'Connor and the best writing from our expert team Issued every Friday morning

This field is required

“It was one of the toughest things I have ever been involved in because so many people have been involved in terms of putting their best foot forward.”

Gatland is weighing up whether to start tour captain Alun Wyn Jones, with Tandy adding that the talisman is raring to go after his miraculous return from a dislocated shoulder.

“Yeah, I believe so. Al historically, he does some pretty special things. Coming back for the autumn and the Six Nations off not a lot of rugby he is raring to go and he is fit.

“It was only three weeks but you have seen the training he has been doing, he keeps himself in absolutely great shape so there will be no issues there.

“His form coming into the Six Nations was really pleasing and he has got unbelievable experience, his leadership qualities are outstanding as well. He was tour captain at the start and there will be no issues in and around Al.

“You have only got to see him walking around and the energy he brings in training, how is around the environment, he will be fine.

“Having played with him, coached him, he was the captain the whole time I was there at the Ospreys. He was outstanding.

“The standards he drives, the intensity he drives in training is unbelievable. Then away from the training environment you’ve only got to see through having an injury like that against Japan, 99pc of people ain’t coming back and are giving up.

"That tells its own story of Alun Wyn as a person, a professional athlete. He never gives up.

“And it’s not just that it’s the professional detail that goes into it, the recovery, prehab, rehab. I haven’t seen anyone like him being that professional. The lengths he takes it to are pretty unique.”

Most Watched