A sign of things to come: Ringrose savours 'cool experience' playing alongside Henshaw

But the young centre isn’t thinking about earning an Ireland call-up next month.

Ringrose and Henshaw impressed in their first outing together.
Ringrose and Henshaw impressed in their first outing together.
Image: Inpho

YOU CAN TELL Garry Ringrose is still a little embarrassed about it, but in the grand scheme of things, the handling error which cost him a second try of the season was a minor blot during an otherwise sparkling performance on Saturday.

At the time, the young centre wanted the ground to open up and swallow him but he can laugh about it now as he reflects on Leinster’s comfortable interpro win over their southern adversaries.

“I got a bit of slick for it,” he admits, laughing. “I suppose it was a little embarrassing but it’s a mistake no one is immune to and thankfully the lads had my back and it didn’t have a huge bearing on the game.

“I didn’t knock it on on purpose and we came away with seven points a couple of minutes later so it kind of eased the pain a little bit.”

Overall, Ringrose was one of the standout performers for the home side as he and Robbie Henshaw instantly struck a chord in midfield and helped Leo Cullen’s men to a big win.

The pair demonstrated the devastating potential they possess side-by-side and Joe Schmidt, the Ireland coach, would have liked what he saw as he watched on from the stands.

Leinster’s Garry Ringrose is tackled by Connacht’s Robbie Henshaw Henshaw tackles Ringrose during last year's Pro12 final. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“It was incredible,” the 21-year-old said of partnering Henshaw for the first time. “It was incredible to actually play alongside him, he’s a full Irish international. It was cool playing with him and learning from him.

“Last year I played against him and learned a few harsh lessons so it’s pretty cool to train with him and eventually play with him. Pretty cool experience and he had my back on a couple of areas so it was all good.

“As a pair we did alright at times, a few simple errors I think we can improve on but happy overall with how we performed. He’s such a security at 12 and he was incredible defensively so it made my job easier.”

With Johnny Sexton masterful in marshaling proceedings for the eastern province and the Ringrose-Henshaw partnership showing incredibly encouraging signs, that axis is an exciting area for Leinster, and Ireland, going forward.

Leinster backs coach Girvan Dempsey was enthused by what he saw: “I thought they played well. They all played well off each other, they all attacked very well and look strong in defence.

“It was funny, they were nervous going into the game and Robbie in particular was nervous, it was obviously his first start for us and his first time getting back on the field.

“I thought they bounced off each other and looked sharp. It was pleasing from that point of view. I feel we’re fortunate that we have a lot of options. We do have a lot of players on form at the moment, particularly in the backs.”

Ringrose is one of them. He has enjoyed a bright start to his second full season in the Leinster side and is widely expected to be included in Schmidt’s squad for the upcoming November internationals.

Garry Ringrose Ringrose speaking to the media at UCD earlier today. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

“I’m not really thinking about it,” the former Blackrock College student insists. “The main priority was just to win at all costs on Saturday against Munster and it was the least of mine or anyone else’s worries thinking about stuff like that. It was to try and get the win any way possible.

What are they
really like?

Rare insights on sport's biggest names from the writers who know them best. Listen to Behind the Lines podcast.

Become a Member

“I was happy with some areas of my performance but I need to improve on others. A few tackles probably missed and a few defensive things to brush up on. I would love to get the opportunity to play against Castres.”

For now, the attention is on the visit of the Top 14 side to Dublin this Saturday.

After a solid start to the Pro12 campaign, Cullen’s men are hell-bent on righting the wrongs of last year and rediscovering their best European form.

“It’s so tight over in the Top 14 so we’ll have to bring our A game if we want to beat them,” he adds.

“They throw the ball around as well as trusting their big men to get over the game line so they’re going to be coming from all angles. Hopefully we’ll take advantage of being at the RDS and hopefully we’ll have a packed stadium behind us and we produce a better performance than Munster.”

The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add!

Leinster set to unleash Sean O’Brien this weekend but McFadden ruled out for months

Analysis: Connacht’s off-the-ball work paints a brighter picture

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

Read next: