Fans of both Leinster and Ireland will be buoyed by the news today that Robbie Henshaw has returned to training earlier than expected after suffering a hamstring injury in November.
The 25-year-old suffered the injury during the warm-up for Ireland’s November series test match with Argentina at the Aviva Stadium.
At the time it was expected that Henshaw would be out for at least eight weeks meaning it was a major doubt as to whether he would be fit in time for the visit of England, as Ireland attempt to defend the Grand Slam they won in 2018.
It now looks as though the meeting with England on February 2 is very much within the centre’s grasps after it was confirmed he will return to training this week.
Stuart Lancaster confirmed Henshaw’s return today but said there are still a few boxes that need ticked before he can be considered for this weekend’s game.
“It’s a bonus that’s for sure. We’ll see how it plays out. He hasn’t really trained with us yet as team, he has done fantastically well with his rehab and really turned a corner.
“He won’t train today, we still have some boxes to tick, but hopefully he’ll train tomorrow and that will put him in contention.”
Henshaw had a turbulent 2018. He started Ireland’s first two Six Nations games, scoring two tries against Italy in Dublin, however, he suffered a shoulder injury whilst scoring his second try which ultimately ruled him out as Joe Schmidt’s men went on to claim the Grand Slam.
Henshaw returned to play a pivotal role as Leinster ended last season as PRO 14 champions as well as European Cup champions. The Westmeath man would go on to play in all three tests as Ireland secured a first series win in Australia since 1979.
Unfortunately, his injury in November ruled him out of Ireland’s historic victory over New Zealand.
Henshaw himself will be buoyed by his quick return given the vast array of options available at midfield.
He is already fighting a battle with Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose for the two starting positions, but with Chris Farrell returning from injury, alongside the improved form of Sammy Arnold and Connacht’s Tom Farrell, Henshaw’s own return could not have come at a better time for him personally.