New Deal

Connacht hang on to Henshaw

Full-back Robbie Henshaw has signed a two-year full contract, Connacht announced this morning.

TWENTY FOUR HOURS after conceding defeat in their bid to keep Irish international lock Mike McCarthy, Connacht have secured the future of young full-back Robbie Henshaw.

The 19-year-old, who burst into the Connacht senior squad at the start of the season, signed his first full contract which will see him remain at the Sportsground until 2015.

Though technically still an Academy player Henshaw is one of only two squad members to feature in all 13 games this season, including last week’s European scalp against French giants Biarritz.

“Last year, my ambitions were to get into the Academy, that’s all I wanted,” the Athlone teen said. “Then I got on the bench for the first game of the season and the last three months have been amazing.

“Nigel [Carolan] has been great to me and Eric [Elwood] has given young players a chance here, so I owe them both a lot.”

Chief executive Tom Sears, who yesterday slammed Leinster’s move for McCarthy and accused the European champions of persistently targeting Connacht’s top players, praised Henshaw for his commitment in the face of tempting offers from elsewhere.

“His contribution this season has been fantastic and we have no doubt he will continue to develop and be a key player at Connacht for years to come.

“His commitment to his home province is a credit to him, particularly in the face of strong overtures from other provinces while he has been a member of our Academy.”

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