Robbie Henshaw will see out his contract with Connacht next season

The 21-year-old’s immediate future has been resolved, but Munster, Ulster and Leinster are hovering.

ROBBIE HENSHAW WILL remain at Connacht beyond the end of the current season.

Robbie Henshaw Henshaw has started both of Ireland's Six Nations games so far. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The 21-year-old is contracted to the western province until the summer of 2016, but there have been strong rumours in recent months around the possibility of Henshaw switching to Leinster next season.

However, The42 has learned that Henshaw will see out his deal with Connacht in the 2015/16 campaign before any inter-provincial switch.

It is understood the IRFU’s performance director David Nucifora has been centrally involved in the discussions about Henshaw’s future at club level, and will continue to be as a 2016 transfer looks increasingly likely.

The42 understands that there was a push to ensure Henshaw would be playing at Leinster next season, but the influential Nucifora has decided all parties would be best served by Henshaw staying with Connacht for the time being.

The player himself insisted in December that he would be remaining with Connacht into next year, commenting that any talk of a move to Leinster was mere “speculation.”

Indeed, The42 understands Henshaw and his closest confidantes are happy and relieved that his immediate future has now been resolved.

Already a seven-cap Ireland international at the age of 21, the former Marist College student is highly desired by Munster, Leinster and Ulster, with all three provinces willing to bid handsomely to secure his services from the 2016/17 season onwards.

That process has already begun and Nucifora will have an important decision to make as Henshaw strives to continue his progress as a player. Connacht will obviously also be extremely keen to re-contract the centre.

Robbie Henshaw celebrates Connacht fans will hope for a few more of these memories. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The Buccaneers clubman will move onto a lucrative central IRFU contract in 2016, fending off the probable interest from France and England.

Nucifora, a former Australia hooker, has indicated that he is open to the idea of players switching between provinces, and has already helped broker a number of lower-profile deals in that regard.

Henshaw is likely to be the biggest name yet to move from one province to a rival, and the fight to win his signature is only going to heat up as his performances on the pitch continue to stand out.

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Murray Kinsella

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