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Returning Henshaw ready for ‘tough battle’ with Scotland

Returning Henshaw ready for ‘tough battle’ with Scotland

Returning Henshaw ready for ‘tough battle’ with Scotland

Returning Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw is preparing for a physical contest against Scotland on Saturday as the two sides battle it out in the Autumn Nations Cup third-place play-off.

The most recent meeting between the teams ended in a 19-12 victory for Ireland in the opening round of this year’s Guinness Six Nations and Scotland have not won in Dublin since 2010.

Gregor Townsend’s men went on a five-match winning streak shortly after February’s defeat, however, and a second-placed finish in Group B of the Autumn Nations Cup has left Henshaw under no illusions about the challenge that lies ahead this weekend.

“I think Scotland are always going to be tough physically, they’ll come hard at our breakdown and they have some good backs out wide,” he said.

“I think for us, we play them regularly in the Guinness PRO14 but when it comes to the international stage, they never give up the fight.

“From playing against them for years now, they’ve always been a really tough side to break down. We really need to have our detail in order and we need to be prepared well for what’s going to be a tough, physical game.”

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The 27-year-old missed the group games against England and Georgia after picking up an adductor strain in the win over Wales on the Autumn Nations Cup opening night.

Now back in full training, Henshaw could win his 47th cap on Saturday and has backed his side to keep making progress after an unconvincing victory over Georgia last time out.

“(There was) a little bit of frustration alright,” he said of Sunday’s 23-10 win. “We looked at some of the clips from the weekend today and some fix-ups, definitely, but there’s also positives there. We were probably held up a few times over the line.

“There’s positives and obviously there’s things that we can work on and address. Overall, we’re keen to just get back out and keep building. Keep going in the right direction.

“For me, it has been a good rehab. Fortunately, the injury was just more of a niggle that we just had to sort. Thankfully it wasn’t any long-term injury. Everything has gone according to plan and back into full training, so it’s all positive.”

The Leinster man went on to identify detail at the set piece as a key factor if his side are to end their tournament – and calendar year – on a high.

“In order for things to click, it’s down to the individual that they’re spot on with their detail,” he said.

“Everyone knows once you step into international camp, detail is nearly top of the list always. We have been getting it right and it’s just about our decision-making on the back of that detail. We can play with our heads up and we can see what’s on and make the space.

“I suppose detail falls into a bracket where, on the run, you have to be able to adjust and adapt. That’s where we’re trying to get to. For us, we just focus on our drills. First is your set piece.

“You get that right, that’s the bit of detail everyone needs to know. Then when you get into phase play, that’s where the detail more or less is broken down and you have to play what’s on in front of you.

“That’s where we’re going and that’s what we want to do. We want to be able to keep building and keep seeing where opportunities unfold as we go through phases.”

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