Tuesday 19 February 2019

Joe Schmidt: Robbie Henshaw is fit to play, but we don't want any risks

Ireland's Robbie Henshaw in action during squad training
Ireland's Robbie Henshaw in action during squad training

Cian Tracey in St. George's Park

Joe Schmidt insists that he will not take any risks with Robbie Henshaw after he left him out of the match day squad to play Romania on Sunday.

The centre was expected to return following a hamstring injury but Schmidt said that Henshaw won’t feature until he is fully fit.

The 22-year old has yet to fully train with the squad although he is now back running.

“He’s really good. Robbie I think is fit to play, it’s that he missed the early part of the week.

“Therefore, I think there’s a couple of them that we left out partly precaution, partly because they haven’t had the time running with the team,” Schmidt explained.

“It was just that at the start of the week, we felt that we had to take it a little bit easier than we first thought.

“We thought he’d be up and running. He is fully running now and we just felt that we’d rather not push ahead.

“Soft tissue injures can be quite complicated and if you get a re-injury on the same sight, then you are really in a situation when he’s World Cup is in doubt.

“This way, we feel that we’ve taken no risk. There are times to probably take risks.”

When asked if he felt that Henshaw would be fit enough to play against Italy, he responded: “Yes.”

Meanwhile, Schmidt allayed fears surrounding Johnny Sexton, Iain Henderson and Peter O’Mahony.

All three sat out training on Thursday but the Kiwi revealed that they training fully today before departing St. George’s Park

“All three of those guys trained absolutely fully today. They’re fit to play and fit to be selected but today was the first full training that they took part in.”

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