Ireland star Henshaw swaps Connacht for Leinster


Robbie Henshaw is to join Leinster on a three-year deal from Pro12 rivals Connacht next season, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has confirmed.

Ireland centre Henshaw joined Connacht's academy in 2012 and he made his senior debut against Cardiff Blues in his first year at the club.

However, his future at Galway Sportsground became shrouded in doubt and head coach Pat Lam stated that Henshaw told the club he would be leaving.

The IRFU has now announced that Henshaw, who has 17 caps for his country, has penned a deal with Leinster that runs through to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

"I would like to thank Connacht, the IRFU and Leinster for allowing me time to consider my future," Henshaw said in an IRFU statement. 

"This has been a long and difficult process and while I am sorry to be leaving Connacht I look forward to the next chapter of my rugby career at Leinster.  

"The support I have enjoyed from the fans in the Sportsground and throughout the province is something that I really value and I want to thank them for four great years."

Leinster also confirmed that 17 members of the squad have "signed new IRFU contracts with the province for 2016-17 and beyond", with Ireland internationals Mike Ross and Dave Kearney among those to have committed.

Former Munster lock Ian Nagle is also set to join Leinster for next season.