Friday 15 December 2017

Shoulder injury to end Robbie Henshaw's Lions journey

 

Robbie Henshaw. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Robbie Henshaw. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Robbie Henshaw's Lions adventure appears to be over after he was forced off with a shoulder injury during yesterday's draw against the Hurricanes in Wellington.

The Leinster centre damaged the joint in the build-up to his side's first try and was replaced by Leigh Halfpenny after just 20 minutes.

The 24-year-old Athlone native has endured a frustrating tour having struggled to make an impression on the Test team and all four of his appearances came with the midweek side.

Yesterday's 31-31 draw with the Hurricanes was his final chance to impress ahead of the second and third Tests, but it looks like his chance has gone.

"He doesn't look great at the moment, he's in a bit of a sling with a shoulder," Warren Gatland said. "I think there's a good chance his tour could be over. I think we've got enough cover within the squad at this stage not to have to replace him, if that's the case."

Gatland, meanwhile, was left fighting fires ahead of the second Test in Wellington as the local media portrayed him as a clown in the wake of Steve Hansen's latest criticism of his decision to criticise New Zealand for roughing up Conor Murray.

And the coach was also getting criticism from home quarters last night after he kept all of the controversial late call-ups to his squad on the bench for as long as possible yesterday, potentially costing his side a win.

Although Finn Russell got on while Dan Biggar was undergoing a head injury assessment, Gatland did not introduce Allen Dell, Kristian Dacey, Cory Hill, Gareth Davies or Tomas Francis despite his starting XV struggling as they coughed up 14 points in the final quarter.

Bizarrely, Gatland conceded he'd been swayed by the negative reaction to the initial call-ups which were based on geographical proximity rather than merit.

"I think so much was made about devaluing the jersey and all those bits and pieces, so we made a decision that we would try to get through the game with as many of the starting XV as we could," he said.

Irish Independent Sport Star Awards

Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport