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Sunday 11 December 2016

Marmion's loyalty might influence Henshaw

Connacht's Kieran Marmion.
Connacht's Kieran Marmion.

Maybe Robbie Henshaw's fate is not sealed just yet.

The clamour for the Athlone man's signature is still very much Leinster's to lose.

However, the other rising star of Connacht rugby Kieran Marmion has seen enough and heard enough to commit to the western province for two more years.

This will keep him at the Sportsground until the summer of 2018.

The likelihood is Marmion, 23, would have canvassed the thoughts of Henshaw, 22, about Connacht's current well-being and their direction.

Don't forget, the two of them have shared time together for Ireland at the Under-20 World Cup in 2012.

At the end of an impressive campaign in South Africa, they were touted as two for the future.

The Welsh-born, English-raised scrum-half started every game for Connacht in the 2012/13 season.

In fact, he was the only player in the PRO12 to manage such a feat.

Certainly, Marmion has delivered for Connacht, if not quite for Ireland.

This could change soon unless Eoin Reddan and Isaac Boss can show improvements. Now in his fourth season at the province, he has amassed 86 Connacht caps.

"I'm delighted to be staying with Connacht Rugby for at least the next two years," said Marmion.

"I'm looking forward to achieving some big things with the team in that time.

"I'm really enjoying the rugby we're playing and the culture we've built. It's a very exciting time to be involved." Marmion is not exactly an unwanted man outside of Connacht. There is no doubt he had options.

Instead, he has chosen to place his faith Pat Lam and the players at the club.

"Over the years, he has grown enormously as a player and as a person and has obviously established himself as a vital cog in the team," reacted Lam."

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