JUST THREE YEARS ago, Robbie Henshaw captained Marist College to their first Connacht Schools Senior Cup win in over thirty years. Yesterday, he lifted the Six Nations trophy after playing a pivotal role in Ireland retaining their championship.
And while there are still some questions over whether the 21-year old’s best position is 12 or 13, there is no doubt he is likely to play a major role during Ireland’s World Cup campaign.
For now though, he is just trying to let Saturday’s success sink in.
“It’s unbelievable, I can’t really describe it at this stage, I’ll just have to pinch myself and let it sink in. Credit to all the boys, management and staff, the work that was put into it over eight weeks was incredible.
“We just took it one game at a time, didn’t get too far ahead of ourselves and just prepared really well for match week each week.
“It’s a credit to everyone now, and the result came on the back of really hard work.”
Henshaw joined the rest of the Irish squad in watching England’s attempts to run up the score on France and admits it was almost as exciting as Ireland’s win over Scotland.
“My heart was nearly as high as it was in the game. It was incredible when France eventually got the ball off the field.
“I think there was a quick tap in there and a few of us nearly pulled our hair out.
“It was just, I think it was the loudest roar I heard all day apart from the crowd in the stadium.”
With Henshaw on the fringes of the squad last season, playing such a key role in this year’s campaign makes it much more special.
“Yeah I was sitting in the stadium in Paris as 24th man [last year]. I knew a bit of what it was like, but actually being on the pitch and actually winning the game, being involved in the game – it’s nothing like last year.
“It’s great to have the atmosphere and the fans in the stadium afterwards as well, credit to the Scottish Rugby Union here for allowing them back in.”
Henshaw also had a lot of praise for his fellow centre Jared Payne who came in for some criticism from George Hook after last week’s loss to Wales.
“I thought he had an excellent game. “I heard about the criticism, but he put that behind him, he didn’t let that get to him and he just went out and played footie.
“He was incredible, and it was great to see him get his first try, I was delighted for him.”
Additional reporting from Murray Kinsella.