Cool Duffy happy to embrace Connacht wing role

Connacht captain Gavin Duffy says he has no issue about losing his full-back berth to teenage sensation Robbie Henshaw and is now enjoying being back on the wing.

Henshaw, 19, nailed down the position in his debut season when Duffy missed a chunk of games earlier in the campaign. And since he returned to fitness after a long lay-off Duffy has been on the wing with the Athlone teenager holding on to the full-back position.

“I have played full-back for the last few years, but in fairness to Robbie he took his chance when it was given to him. It is great to see how well he is doing. And at this stage I am happy to be back at all, whether it is on the wing or at full-back. Playing on the wing is a different challenge for me. I have played there before and I like the freedom you have there. You can take a few more chances in attack, where as you always need to keep your defensive daunting in mind playing full-back.

“I am not really bothered were I play — as long as I do play. It is good be involved in the squad and in training again after injury.

“When you are out and captain you still have to be involved in the off-field stuff and in meetings and that, but it is great to be back involved in the real side of the game again,” said the 31-year old.

Duffy, who won 10 international caps, believes it is only a matter of time before Henshaw is capped, having been drafted into the Six Nations extended squad.

“He has already proven this season that he is top class. He was right at home at Rabo level, then he showed what he can do at Heineken Cup level. I have no doubt he’ll get his chance at international level again and he will show just what he is capable of. There are a few really good full-backs around at the moment, but I’m sure Robbie’s chance will come soon. And when it does he’ll be ready to take it.”

Duffy is hoping Connacht have a strong finish to the season, starting tomorrow night in Treviso.

“They have always been the Italian side with the strongest tradition in the game and have had a great team spirit since the start.

“Their patch has proven to be a difficult place to go for many team, but we have been there before and we have won there before. They have improved since last season, but I think we have too, so it should be a good test. They will have their 13 Italian squad guys back for this game so it will be tougher, but if we play to our best we can win,” he said.


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