Six Nations: Robbie Henshaw on Ireland's chances this year

Ahead of Ireland's first Six Nations international with Scotland tomorrow, we chatted to Robbie Henshaw about the nation's prospects for the competition.

Speaking from the sofa in his and Jordi Murphy's house, Robbie tells our man Stuart Clark that the team will be tackling each game head-on.

"Our focus right now is on this opening game against Scotland, which is going to be very, very tough,” Robbie stresses. “I know from playing Glasgow Warriors in the Pro12 that quite a few of the Scottish guys are absolutely on fire at the moment. Tommy Seymour on the wings, Stuart Hogg at fullback, Alex Dunbar in midfield – the list goes on. They’re playing with a lot of confidence and aren’t going to hold back at all. They keep playing until the final whistle and proved a tough pass for us last year.

“We need to be on our toes and do our homework, because we didn’t get off to the best of starts in 2016. We’ve been plotting all week for what’s to come, so we’ll be ready for whatever Murrayfield brings.”

The potential banana skins don’t end there, with Robbie also expecting fireworks from Wales in Ireland’s penultimate Six Nations game in Cardiff.

“The Millennium with the roof closed is the most unbelievable cauldron. I couldn’t believe the noise when I first played there. One of the Wales stats is that the longer you hold on to the ball against them, the less chance you have of scoring, because defensively they apply so much pressure. They put in big shots, so you need to be both physically and mentally tough against them.”

Going 0-10 down to Australia at Twickenham in December, and then recovering to beat them 37-21 showed how England can by turns be defensively inept and an unstoppable try-scoring machine.

“Let’s hope it’s the former when we play them in the Aviva,” Robbie laughs. “At home, especially, England have that ability to turn the screw in the final few moments and beat you. Like any team, I suppose, there are weaknesses when you analyse them in detail. Part of what makes Joe Schmidt such a great coach is that he’ll go over and over things with the technical team in order to find that Achilles heel. The attitude we have is that, ‘If we can beat the All Blacks, we can beat England’.”

You can read the full interview with Robbie Henshaw in the latest issue of Hot Press.

You can buy Hot Press 41-02, our Six Nations Special direct from hotpress.com
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