The Latest On Robbie Henshaw As Centre Once Against Fails To Make Ireland Squad

Absent.

For the third consecutive game at the Rugby World Cup in Japan Robbie Henshaw has failed to make Ireland’s squad after picking up an injury in training just before the tournament.

So what’s the story? Normally a replacement would have been called up, but Henshaw is clearly seen as a hugely important player by Schmidt and his team and it’s pretty fair to say he is.

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With just one pool match remaining and a quarter-final no longer guaranteed – will we see Henshaw at the World Cup? Well according to Schmidt, the centre could have played on Thursday but it wasn’t worth the “risk.”

Instead, Garry Ringrose will once again line out at 13 with Bundee Aki fit and ready against to take his place at 12. As for Henshaw, Schmidt said “maybe” he will play against Samoa in Ireland’s final pool match.

Should Ireland qualify for the last 16, Henshaw would likely be fit – but he could feature having played just 80 minutes of rugby since the end of May.

“Robbie is on the cusp of being available,” Schmidt said today after naming his team for the Russia game

“If we put him back in this week, which we thought about, it’s a risk we feel we don’t need to take because Garry [Ringrose] is feeling good.

“We could put Robbie in maybe next week [against Samoa] and at the same time we’ve got Bundee [Aki] back and he’s got a fair bit of bounce about him.”

The sooner Ireland get him back the better. Ideally against Samoa on October 12.