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'No doubt that he's going to be world class': Muliaina impressed by level-headed Henshaw

Connacht and Ireland back wouldn’t look out of place in Super Rugby, says a man who knows a thing or two.

Henshaw: Australia win was only his fifth senior cap.
Henshaw: Australia win was only his fifth senior cap.
Image: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

ROBBIE HENSHAW HAS the attitude to become one of the world’s top backs, team-mate Mils Muliaina said.

The Connacht youngster started outside Gordon D’Arcy and impressed again as Ireland completed a November Series clean sweep against Australia.

Legendary All Black Muliaina was an interested spectator on Saturday and saw familiar signs of Henshaw’s development.

“The way he’s performing, particularly in an Irish shirt, he’s grown into another league in confidence,” he told TheScore.ie.

“He’s not having to do too much. He’s just going out there and doing his job and going about it in a really good way. He doesn’t look out of place at all which is awesome.”

Henshaw revealed on Saturday that he has been swapping texts with the man whose retirement left a gaping void in the Irish midfield.

But with 100 New Zealand caps and a World Cup winner’s medal on his CV, Muliaina’s help is every bit as valuable as Brian O’Driscoll’s for a rising star in search of the best advice.

The one thing that I picked up early with Robbie is how level-headed he is, how grounded he is, and his ability to want to learn and ask questions and come over and sit down and say, ‘Can you walk through my game?’

“I’ve really seen it in him and there’s no doubt that he’s going to be a world-class player. The really pleasing thing is that he’s still wanting to learn.

Robbie Henshaw is tackled by Luke Jones Henshaw tackled by Australia's Luke Jones. Source: Colm O'Neill/INPHO

“He wouldn’t look out of place if he was to come back and play Super Rugby anywhere back in New Zealand,” added Muliaina, who made over 100 appearances in the competition for the Blues and the Chiefs.

He’s a big man, he’s skilful, he loves a bit of contact but he can also throw the ball around a little bit.

“He’s a little bit different but he’s certainly a talent, there’s no doubt about that.

“It’s something I’ve seen from the first day I arrived here: he’s going to be a world-class talent one day.”

IMG_0239 Mils Muliaina met some young fans at Connacht's ‘Mazda Rugby Roadshow’ in Carton House on Sunday.

Updated at 17.32.

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Niall Kelly

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