Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt commented this week that the team didn’t need the try that led to the Robbie Henshaw injury during the recent game against Italy. He admitted that he willed him not to score Ireland’s fifth try fearing he would pick up an injury!

His apprehension turned out to be well placed as Henshaw severely injured his shoulder scoring under pressure from Italy’s Tomasso Benvenuti.

The true extent of the injury was revealed yesterday as it was confirmed the Leinster and Ireland winger would be sidelined for between 3-4 months after undergoing an operation this week. This could prove to be a huge blow for both teams ahead of more International and crucial club games.

“A lot of wingers are more likely to do that shoulder injury that Robbie did just because they dive in at corners and someone lands on top of them,” said Schmidt.

“As he was going in to score I had a very bad feeling, and I said in the box as he was going in to score it, ‘Don’t score Robbie’. We didn’t need the try, we need him, and it’s not very often a coach is saying that.”

“We will get excited about the players we do have because we know how hard they are going to work on Saturday week.”

Wales are next up for Schmidt’s side who are looking to keep their long unbeaten home Six Nations run going.

Yesterday, they trained in bitterly cold conditions at Buccaneers RFC as part of their three-day mini-camp in Athlone.

As they lined up against Noel McNamara’s Under-20s, Bundee Aki and Chris Farrell were the centre pairing with Joey Carbery providing cover.

Garry Ringrose is likely to come into the squad next week after his ankle injury, but it is expected that he will make his return for Leinster against Southern Kings, meaning Aki and Farrell are poised to start together for the second time having partnered up against Argentina in November.