Connacht Rugby have announced that full-back Robbie Henshaw has signed a full two year contract with them. 19 year old Henshaw, who is currently a member of the Connacht Academy, has committed to the club until 2015.
It has been a phenomenal season for the Athlone-born teenager who only last March captained his school, Marist College, to their first Connacht Senior Cup success in 35 years. Last week he started against French powerhouses Biarritz in round three of the Heineken Cup and contributed significantly to the 22-14 victory over the defending Amlin Challenge Cup champions. This week he prepares for the return game in France.
Henshaw was named on the bench for the RaboDirect PRO12 opener against Cardiff Blues back in September. He took his chances well and was called upon for the subsequent two games. He then played the full 80 minutes against Glasgow Warriors and Leinster, first at centre before moving to full-back. Since then, he has established himself as a key component in Connacht’s back line and is one of only two squad members to have featured in all 13 games this season.
Henshaw has represented Ireland at U19 level and was part of the 2011 Ireland Schools team who were crowned FIRA-AER U18 European Champions following their final 17 – 8 win over England.
He has also played for the Westmeath minor footballers and represented his county in 2010 and 2011. He balances his rugby with his academic studies at NUIG where he is in year one studying Arts and faces exams later this month.
Robbie put pen to paper on his contract this week and commented:
“I’m absolutely delighted to have signed a full contract with Connacht. This is my home province and it’s so good to have the chance to play here. Last year, my ambitions were to get into the academy, that’s all I wanted. Then I got on the bench for the first game of the season and the last three months have been amazing. Nigel (Carolan) has been great to me and Eric has given young players a chance here, so I owe them both a lot. Connacht has progressed so much in recent years and a few years ago it wouldn’t have been possible for me to be playing for my local region.”
Commenting on the latest contract extension, CEO, Tom Sears, said: “Robbie is another one of the outstanding young talents we have at Connacht and we are delighted he signed a new contract, one he fully deserves.”
“His contribution this season has been fantastic and we have no doubt he will continue to develop and be a key player at Connacht for years to come. His commitment to his home province is a credit to him, particularly in the face of strong overtures from other provinces while he has been a member of our Academy.”