Ronan O’Gara Has His Say On The Robbie Henshaw At Fullback Debate
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Ronan O’Gara has weighed in on the debate regarding Robbie Henshaw at fullback after a disappointing showing for the Leinster man at fifteen in the loss to England on Saturday.
Henshaw was a surprise selection at fullback with Rob Kearney overlooked as he continues his return to full fitness. The 25-year-old was exposed by England on a number of occasions, with his positioning particularly highlighted.
But O’Gara reckons Schmidt should stick with his man, or at least revert him back to his favoured position of centre. The former Ireland outhalf doesn’t think it sends the right message in dropping him, but at the same time understands the calls for a Kearney return, who he says is Ireland’s “best fullback for 10 years.”
“How would I phrase a response? I think we didn’t see him in his best light, no doubt about it,” O’Gara said on Virgin Media Sport.
“Had he played enough there? No, but I think once you’ve played him now you stick with him. It’s so ruthless professional sport and at that level he got exposed in his positioning once or twice but then if you take him out what message does that send to him?
“Maybe he features in the centre, which he could easily do, but of course there’ll be calls for Rob Kearney to come back – he’s been Ireland’s best fullback for 10 years.
“He consistently performs for Ireland, he just has to get his body right. He’ll get himself a crack at probably training.
“I’m not in camp but it seems like from the outside looking in that he probably hasn’t presented himself fit to train consistently enough to feature in Joe’s thoughts but maybe now he has a reassessment of what happened on Saturday and he might say ‘okay I want to base my team with Rob at fifteen’.”
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 3, 2019