Robbie Henshaw guests on RTE’s ‘GAME ON’ broadcast from Buccaneers club | News | Buccaneers Rugby Football Club Athlone

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Robbie Henshaw guests on RTE’s ‘GAME ON’ broadcast from Buccaneers club

published:Jul  11   2017


RTE 2FM’s ‘GAME ON’ sports programme was transmitted live from Dubarry Park last Thursday evening when Robbie Henshaw was special guest for the show which focussed mainly on the Lions tour to New Zealand. Former Ireland and Buccaneers coach Eddie O’Sullivan was joined on the panel by Connacht captain John Muldoon and former Ireland player Reggie Corrigan. Hugh Cahill hosted the programme which was produced by Robbie Irwin in front of a decent turnout in The Bounty.


A goodly segment of the show concentrated on Henshaw’s experience of the tour. “It was really tough, a massive experience and a massive learning curve as a player going into the future” stated the young Athlonian. “Match conditions were generally wet and windy and you were playing world class players, reflecting New Zealand’s quality strength in depth”. He “didn’t get a lot of ball in the first two games which was frustrating. A lot of the Lions’ gameplan was based on physicality although not a lot of running rugby”.


When queried by Cahill as to his preferred position, Henshaw replied that “12 is now my primary position and I loved playing 13 in Connacht when you have a player of class beside you like Bundee Aki. It makes it a lot easier, getting good ball off him, as you can get by the gainline and create havoc. That definitely improves you! I love the physical aspect of centre, defending and stuff, but I’m not ruling out 15 down the line if it comes”, added Robbie who celebrated his 24th birthday on the tour. Such was the nature of the tour which “was really full on with no switch off time” that it’s unlikely he had much opportunity to celebrate.


In response to an audience question from Ronan Bushell as to when he felt his rugby career would take off, Robbie f

irst of all thanked Ronan “for all the coaching and hard work he put in through the years at Buccs along with his (Robbie’s) father” that culminated in Buccaneers winning the U-19 All-Ireland Cup. He continued that Eric Elwood brought him in to Connacht just after he had sat his Leaving Certificate. “Connacht had a lot of injuries at that time and I debuted off the bench in a friendly against Exeter, then started against Harlequins the following week when I scored a try”. Henshaw added that he “kept doing the basics well, taking games one at a time, working hard and performing well”. When he was swiftly called up to the Ireland squad he found that a huge “step up and harsh lessons were learned especially against Australia” but “he took all coaching on board”.


At this stage, Muldoon interjected to say that he “first saw Henshaw in action as a schoolboy at The Sportsground”. He added that “Robbie’s Debs was held on the eve of the Harlequins match, yet he was the best player on the pitch even though less than a month with Connacht” at that stage. Muldoon knew then that “this kid was special and that it would only be a matter of time before he would play for Ireland”.


Regarding the pectoral muscle injury that ended his Lions tour prematurely, Henshaw said it occurred “in a pretty innocuous manner when he over extended in a wrap tackle. It snapped” and he knew his “tour was done”. Robbie had surgery last week and the prognosis is that he will be out of action for 12 to 16 weeks. The priority now is “to get the body right after a mentally long year”.


It was an enjoyable experience to attend ‘Game On’ and to witness all the nuts and bolts that go into getting such a show on air, particularly an outside live broadcast. Thanks to everyone who attended, to the crew at The Bounty for their input and particularly to our Administrator Geraldine who proved a vital cog in the whole production.




‘ATHLONE SEVENS IN THE CITY’, scheduled for Saturday next, has unfortunately had to be cancelled.




There is a full entry list for BUCCANEERS ANNUAL GOLF CLASSIC which takes place on Wednesday next, July 19th, at Glasson Country House Hotel & Golf Club.




BUCCANEERS TAG RUGBY SUMMER LEAGUE enters the final straight with the penultimate round of fixtures on this Thursday night at Dubarry Park. The finals are scheduled for Friday week, July 21st.




Congratulations to Ted Carty on his election as Junior Vice-President of Connacht Branch IRFU. Meanwhile, Claire Wyper and Michael Cleary have returned to active service on Buccaneers RFC’s Executive Committee as Treasurer and Secretary respectively. Apologies to Ray Fagan whose re-election as the club’s Senior Representative to the Connacht Branch was omitted from the recent AGM report.


Well done to Buccs duo Jordan Conroy and debutant Josh Rowland who were in the Ireland Sevens squad that won the Clermont 7’s Grand Prix. Conroy, who had scored in each of Ireland’s matches in the previous Sevens Grand Prix in Poland, notched four more touchdowns at this event; a couple of those tries are well worth watching on the IRFU website as the flying Buccaneers winger’s impressive try haul has helped propel Ireland to top of the league leaderboard. It is now a straight shootout between them, Spain and Russia for the final two qualifying berths for next year’s World Sevens finals in California. Rowland rowed in with a try in the win over Wales as his injury-hit season finally gained momentum.


Congrats too to Anna McGann and the Ireland Womens Sevens squad who finished second overall in the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix series and thus qualify for next year’s World Cup finals in San Francisco.


Congrats also to Tiernan O’Halloran who notched up his sixth senior cap in Ireland’s second win in Japan recently.




Does anyone by chance have a photo from our underage coaching sessions of season 2000/1 that includes Beauden Barrett? If so kindly forward a copy to