Henshaw fit and available for Munster to ease Leinster's midfield concerns

The Ireland centre bolsters Leo Cullen’s resources ahead of a big couple of weeks.

Leinster say Henshaw is available for this weekend.
Leinster say Henshaw is available for this weekend.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

ROBBIE HENSHAW HAS been declared fit and available for Saturday’s Guinness Pro14 interprovincial clash with Munster, as he returns to provide a major fillip to Leo Cullen’s midfield resources.

The Ireland international has been out of action since tearing his pectoral muscle off the bone during the Lions’ draw with the Hurricanes in June, an injury which required immediate surgical intervention.

Henshaw had said he was on course to make his first appearance of the season last week when Edinburgh visited the RDS, but a minor setback in training meant his comeback was delayed further.

However, after coming through sessions on Monday and Tuesday, Leinster say Henshaw is available for selection ahead of the interpro derby at the Aviva Stadium, a development which will come as good news to the eastern province.

The 24-year-old’s absence has been keenly felt in the opening weeks of the season, particularly with Gary Ringrose also sidelined, and his return for Saturday couldn’t be more timely ahead of the first defining block of fixtures of the season.

Leo Cullen had been forced to deploy a makeshift partnership of Isa Nacewa and Rory O’Loughlin in the centre for the opening games of Leinster’s campaign, but when the former sustained a calf injury in South Africa, they have been left short for cover in the position.

O’Loughlin and Noel Reid failed to inspire any sort of confidence last week against Edinburgh as they were exposed defensively, although Reid is unlikely to feature this weekend having sustained a bang to the head last Friday night.

“Injuries are part and parcel of the game now,” Cullen said of the province’s mini injury crisis developing in the centre.

“That’s why the squad is so important; we invest a huge amount of time. We played 15 academy players in pre-season games knowing that at some point during the season those guys may be called upon so it takes time to bring young guys through but we’ve invested a huge amount of time in a lot of guys and that’s something that will continue.”

Otherwise, Leinster have reported no fresh concerns leading into a meeting with their southern rivals with Johnny Sexton, Tadhg Furlong, Sean O’Brien and Jack McGrath all coming through their seasonal bows unscathed.

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Cullen will name his team for the round six clash at Friday at 12 noon.

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