Henshaw will be staying at Connacht until 2016 at least. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Future Star

New two-year deal for Ireland international Robbie Henshaw

The 20-year-old will be staying with Connacht until 2016 at least.

ROBBIE HENSHAW HAS signed a new two-year deal with Connacht and the IRFU, keeping him at the province until 2016.

The Ireland international has joined teammates Kieran Marmion, Willie Faloon, Craig Ronaldson and Matt Healy in tying his future to the western province. This news comes as a big boost to head coach Pat Lam as his side continues to struggle in the RaboDirect Pro12.

Henshaw’s signature is an important move for the province, given his status as a three-cap international at the age of just 20. The former Westmeath underage footballer also represented Ireland at U18, U19, U20 and Wolfhounds levels.

The centre/fullback was limited to a brief appearance off the bench in Ireland’s defeat to the Wallabies this month, but he is sure to play a more significant role over the coming years. At Connacht, Henshaw’s switch to his more natural position of outside centre has been a great success this season.

His power and pace make the 20-year-old a difficult proposition to mark, while his aggression has been noticeably improved in defence recently. Henshaw only made his senior Connacht debut last season, at the end of which he was voted Connacht Senior Player of the Year and won the IRUPA Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year Award.

Speaking after signing his new contract with the province, Henshaw said:

I’m absolutely delighted to have signed a new contract with Connacht. Playing for Ireland recently was a huge honour and I was so proud to be representing my home province as well as my country.

“It’s been an unbelievable 15 months and I’m so happy that I was given my first chance here at Connacht and can now continue to improve under Pat and the coaching team.”

Head coach Lam was equally pleased to have secured the young star’s signature:

“It’s fantastic that Robbie has committed his future to Connacht Rugby. He is an extremely talented young man and is constantly improving as a player. I’m pleased that he sees Connacht as the place for him to continue that progress, playing week in week out in big games.

“Robbie has proven himself to be one of the best young players in the country and I have no doubt that he will continue his remarkable career both with Connacht and Ireland.”

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