Joe Schmidt On Why There’s No Robbie Henshaw For Ireland Again This Week

Left out.

Joe Schmidt surprised a lot of people earlier when he left Robbie Henshaw out of his squad for the Italy game this weekend, despite the fact that the Leinster star trained fully this week.

Henshaw’s only minutes in this year’s Six Nations so far came at fullback in the loss against England, which was a disappointing display while out of his favoured position of centre.

He then missed the Scotland game with a slight knock, but now is nowhere to be seen in the Italy game with Kearney remaining at fullback and Chris Farrell partnering Bundee Aki in midfield.

Joe Schmidt was asked about his omission today and had this to say:

“There are a couple of guys that were probably available for selection like the likes of Robbie Henshaw.” the Ireland boss said

“But we’ve just decided to give him an extra week. He didn’t have the opportunity to do quite the amount of running that would have best prepared him for the match.”

“Particularly if he were to play at fifteen or thirteen where a high volume of running is expected with the way the Italians play.”

Schmidt added that he’d have no hesitation throwing Henshaw straight back in next week if he’s ready to go despite his lack of minutes.

“Robbie Henshaw is a know-quantity for us. We know the quality he provides. We’d have no hesitation in slotting him straight in against France – wherever he best fits.” Schmidt said

So what does that mean next week for Henshaw in the France game? Does he come in and replace Rob Kearney at fullback? Does he slot into the centre? At 12 or 13? Who partners him in midfield if he plays there? Aki or Ringrose if he’s fit?

Schmidt is keeping his cards pretty close to his chest.

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