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Thursday 25 May 2017

Henshaw is happy to have Ringrose at number 13

Robbie Henshaw. Pic: Sportsfile
Robbie Henshaw. Pic: Sportsfile

When Ireland coach Joe Schmidt paired Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne together as an international combination, it was something of a 'manufactured' arrangement in that both men were often employed in different positions for their provinces.

The physicality of Henshaw to make the gain line and defend his channel developed in tandem with Payne's revered game intelligence.

It made them the undoubted first-choice partnership for Ireland.

Then, Payne was ruled out for three months with a kidney problem to leave a vacancy at 13 which Henshaw has previously claimed as his favourite position.

"Firstly, when I started to play with Jared, I was playing at 13 a lot," said the Leinster centre.

"I hadn't played a lot at 12 before, but I have been there for about three or four years now.

Grand

"I'm finding it grand now. It's my main position.

Now that has been sorted, Garry Ringrose is free to make his play to do for Ireland with Henshaw what he does for Leinster.

"Garry is a natural 13. He is unbelievable at what he does," he said. "I love to get the ball into his hands and let him do his thing, let him beat a few players and make a few line breaks."

Henshaw, an experienced international, has the fewest Leinster caps this evening, playing just four times, three in Europe.

"Just looking at the caps in brackets on the team sheet, I'm the least capped player in the squad.

"I'm looking to get that number up certainly," he smiled.

"It was a frustrating start for me, obviously watching from the sidelines.

"I'm back. I'm fit and available, so just looking to keep going now and keep playing."

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