Connacht Rugby, have confirmed that Irish international, Robbie Henshaw will leave the province at the end of the season. Th centre decided not to renew his contract with the Western province, to pursue new pastures with Leinster.
Although initially Henshaw and Connacht were quiet upon his exit, it has been that confirmed the player’s next destination after signing a three-year deal with the Eastern province.
Connacht have been impressive so far this season and are in contention for a Pro 12 title and a European Rugby Champions cup spot. They also managed to reach the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup.
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Henshaw is the second key player to leave Connacht in recent weeks following the loss of prop Rodney Ah You, to rivals Ulster.
The Irish international's performances for Joe Schmidt’s side since his Test debut in 2013 ensured there was interest not just in Ireland but from abroad. Big clubs from France were eager for his signature, meaning his decision to stay on home soil is a big win for the IRFU.
Henshaw broke into the Connacht side as a 19-year-old and following several impressive performances, managed to seal a spot in the Ireland first team. It is believed that Henshaw is eager to become more familiar with his Irish teammates, and improve his link up play with Leinster fly-half Johnny Sexton.
Meanwhile, Connacht head coach Pat Lam expressed his disappointment at losing one of his best players, but nevertheless wished the centre all the best with his future club and his Ireland career.
“Obviously, we are disappointed with the ultimate outcome of our negotiations with Robbie, however, we respect the decision he has made and wish him all the best with the Irish team into the future.”