Sunday 21 January 2018

Pat Lam: No chance of Robbie Henshaw leaving Connacht

Connacht's Robbie Henshaw
Connacht's Robbie Henshaw

Connacht coach Pat Lam says that there are no moves in place for Robbie Henshaw to transfer to another Irish province and the 20-year will remain at the Sportsground until 2016 at least.

Henshaw signed a new deal before Christmas extending his Connacht contract until then, but this week IRFU president Pat Fitzgerald said the Athlone native would have to move to another province if Joe Schmidt insisted on it.

That has increased speculation that Leinster may be lining up a move for the talented back, who Brian O'Driscoll has tipped to be his most likely successor in the Irish No.13 shirt.

Ironically, when the IRFU president was making his remarks on local radio on Wednesday, the national team management were in Galway meeting with Lam and members of his coaching staff.

Schmidt, along with Les Kiss and John Plumtree, were paying a routine visit to Connacht on Wednesday and Lam said that a possible move by Henshaw was not one of the items on the agenda.

"There has been no communication from the IRFU around Robbie Henshaw.

"The IRFU have been very supportive of Connacht. I have a very good relationship with Joe Schmidt and he is especially supportive of the Connacht rugby programme going forward.

"Robbie has made it clear he has enjoyed it here, that is why he is staying. Joe Schmidt is happy with it, the IRFU are as well and I'm happy with it, so that really is the whole thing," said Lam.

His assistant, Dan McFarland, will take charge of the Emerging Ireland squad which is going to Romania in June and Lam is hopeful that several Connacht players will either be on that tour or in Argentina with the senior squad.

"I have good lines of communication with Joe and we talk regularly on games and players.

"There are good lines of communication and there has been nothing suggested about Robbie Henshaw going elsewhere," added Lam.

Irish Independent

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