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Henshaw diagnosis is a hammer blow

By Nick Purewal

Robbie Henshaw will miss the rest of the NatWest Six Nations with the shoulder injury he suffered in Ireland's 56-19 win over Italy on Saturday.

The British and Irish Lions centre's loss is a significant blow to Ireland, who are bidding for a third title in five years.

The 24-year-old underwent a "procedure" on his right shoulder yesterday, the IRFU confirmed. However, they are hopeful No.8 Jack Conan, struggling with a shoulder complaint, will be fit in time for the Dublin clash with Wales on February 24.

"Robbie Henshaw, who suffered a shoulder injury, has undergone a procedure this morning on the injured shoulder and has been ruled out of the remainder of the Championship," read the IRFU statement.

"Jack Conan took a bang on his shoulder but is expected to be available for selection for Round 3."

Henshaw suffered his suspected dislocated shoulder in the act of scoring his second try as Ireland overwhelmed Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

The midfielder received oxygen on the field and departed with his right arm in a sling.

Now head coach Joe Schmidt will hope that Leinster centre Garry Ringrose will be back from ankle trouble in time to slot into midfield to replace Henshaw for the visit of Warren Gatland's Wales.

Munster's Chris Farrell would prove another option to partner Bundee Aki in the centre, with the Connacht battering ram admitting after the Italy clash that being without Henshaw for the rest of the campaign would prove a "big loss".

Belfast Telegraph

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