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Henshaw confirms he is 'fully recovered' as midfield partner Aki issues warning after recent English 'spankings'

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Robbie Henshaw

Robbie Henshaw

SPORTSFILE

Robbie Henshaw

IRISH centre Robbie Henshaw has set his sights on Triple Crown glory as he confirmed his complete recovery from the head knock sustained in the Guinness Six Nations championship win against Wales.

The Leinster player will line up against former Connacht midfield partner Bundee Aki after Garry Ringrose was ruled out for the rest of the season with a broken finger.

"Yeah I'm fully recovered," said Henshaw, as the clock ticks down to the Twickenham tussle which will decide if the first major piece of silverware can be won this Sunday.

"I passed all the protocols.

"It was really frustrating to come off but the doctors have a job to do and if they see something, they have to be cautious and take player safety into account.

"It was disappointing not to get back on but you have to go with it. I was enjoying myself and it was great to be back in the Aviva, in a great atmosphere. It wasn't ideal for me but the team did an excellent job finishing it off."

Now Ireland are hoping to repeat their 2018 Grand Slam success in the home of English rugby – a game Henshaw missed through injury.

"Having the two home games back-to-back is rare for us but we're aware of the challenge going to Twickenham, it is a hostile environment.

"But we went there two years ago with our backs to the wall and a Grand Slam on the line so we know we can produce big performances.

"Winning a Triple Crown is not at the forefront of our minds, it is about focusing on our performance. Twickenham is a cauldron, they are tough opposition and a tough crowd.

"We're under no illusions that it is a tough place to play. It's down to us to play as well as we can. Our defence will have to be rock solid, that's our focus today and then we will work on our attack.

"France were able to put England under pressure in game one which was key in that game and then France got that breakaway try so they capitalised on the key moments.

"Across the group, we know we have big players who can produce big moments. Jordan Larmour is one who can do that as he showed against Wales. But it's up to all of us to try and produce those big moments."

His midfield partner Aki has warned his side that they must get off to a quick start unless they are to suffer another "spanking" after their double dose of defeat in 2019.

"The last two games we've had a bit of a spanking from them so we need to focus on ourselves," said Aki.

"Obviously they're a world-class team and World Cup runners-up and if you're off your game they are going to punish you.

"We have to make sure we are on our game. We have to make sure we start well and play to the best of our ability."

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