Robbie Henshaw turns to Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy for extra Lions bite
Robbie Henshaw has revealed he sought out advice from Gordon D'Arcy and Brian O'Driscoll about succeeding with the Lions.
The Leinster and Ireland centre was in London yesterday with the rest of the 41-man party for the squad's 'messy Monday' administration day.
The Athlone native will go on his first Lions tour next month and has a realistic shot of making the Test team after a stellar season.
Before he became a regular in the Ireland midfield, the 23-year-old spent a season shadowing the legendary duo, who were mainstays in the centre for a decade.
O'Driscoll went on four Lions tours, captaining the ill-fated 2005 trip, while D'Arcy was in New Zealand that year and was a late call-up to South Africa four years later.
"I've met both during the year for a catch-up about their experiences; in particular Brian has been really good, his experience alone is invaluable," Henshaw said.
"I picked their brains a bit. They said just coming out of your shell was one of the main things mentioned - not to be too shy, to mingle with everyone and get to know the lads and have good craic with them as well."
O'Driscoll's time as captain was ended within a minute by the infamous Tana Umaga and Keven Mealamu spear tackle, and Henshaw is expecting the New Zealanders to bring an edge to proceedings next month.
"I think it's all part of it," Henshaw said.
"On their side it's a great opportunity for those guys to play against a quality outfit like us. To have that bit of niggle in rugby, that is needed and it gets both teams going.
"Personally I do like that niggle in the game, it makes it more exciting, and more exciting to be involved in. The higher the physicality the better for me."