Robbie Henshaw Rules Out Top 14 Move But Hints He May Leave Connacht
Connacht centre Robbie Henshaw has no intentions of playing abroad for the foreseeable future, though he is not averse to moving to another Irish province when his contract expires at the end of the season.
The 22-year-old’s current deal with the Westerners runs out in June of next year and, as the hottest prospect in Irish rugby, what Henshaw chooses to do next is the source of great speculation.
Speaking to Ivan Yates on Newstalk’s Breakfast show, Henshaw said that he believes contract negotiations with IRFU will be prolonged, as his representatives seek to hammer out a deal that is mutually agreeable.
He was quick to point out that, while he may ply his trade elsewhere in the years to come, he wishes to remain in Ireland for now.
“I have to look at my options coming up towards Christmas and I can expect it to be an ongoing process,” he told Yates.
“At the moment I have to get my options on the table and then I’ll have to see what’s best for my career. I’m not making any decisions yet; I’m just waiting until all the options come in and then I’m going to assess what’s best for my career.
“I suppose in terms of the French teams in the Champions Cup, their players are obviously being paid a significant amount of money, but I suppose I’d love to play all my rugby in Ireland at the moment. I’m still quite young so I wouldn’t be thinking of leaving for a while. I think further down the line it could be an option, but for the moment I don’t think so.”
In recent times, Henshaw has been most linked with a move to Leinster, and Munster where it had previously been believed he could expedite his development and, indeed, receive a more lucrative contract.
Henshaw stated that his main priority is Connacht’s continued success, but a move to the capital was not outside the realms of possibility. And, if he were to leave, his next destination would be largely decided by him.
“We haven’t talked with the IRFU, but I’d imagine it’ll be more my call than theirs because I’m out of contract. I suppose they could kind of guide you towards where they want you playing, so I’m not fully sure.
“I’m not ruling it (Leinster) out at the moment, but we’ll just see what happens. I’m 100 pc concentrated on Connacht for this year and my contract, so we’ll see what happens towards the end of the year, but I’m completely committed and focused. If options do arise, I’ll take a look at them,” he said.