Robbie Henshaw's final act as a Leinster player this season is a measure of the man 1 year ago

Robbie Henshaw's final act as a Leinster player this season is a measure of the man

The Athlone native will play no further part in Leinster's push for a European and PRO14 double.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has confirmed that Robbie Henshaw's season with the Blues is over. The 24-year-old will miss the Guinness PRO14 semi-final with Munster, this weekend, and the final should his side get there.

Speaking at Leinster's pre-game press conference, Cullen revealed that Henshaw had injured his knee in the Champions Cup final win over Racing and he will be out for a while. Cullen first said 'a few weeks' then 'a couple of weeks' when later talking about his inside centre.

Given that Henshaw made it back from shoulder reconstruction in 10 weeks, it is within the realms of possibility that he will be targeting Ireland's summer tour of Australia as his comeback.

As it stands, though, Henshaw's final act as a Leinster player this season was part of that defensive effort to keep Racing out after Isa Nacewa had kicked the Blues 15-12 ahead.

Henshaw came in for close attention from the Racing players, who had earmarked him as a dangerman, throughout the final. He really should have went off for a Head Injury Assessment after clashing with Racing fullback Louis Dupichot, who did go for a HIA after the incident, and he had another seismic collision with Henry Chavancy.

Looking back on footage of the match, it would appear Henshaw tweaked his knee later in the first half after shifting to get past scrumhalf Teddy Iribaren. He looked in discomfort for a while after but obviously backed himself to stay out on the field.

Henshaw put in a huge effort for his side, making nine successful tackles, eight carries and hitting over 30 rucks. His last involvement of the season came on 80:30 - there was no way he was not finishing the game - and saw himself and Devin Toner combine to take down Leone Nakarawa.

Credit: direct 2

Only 15 seconds before that, he had stopped Chavancy dead in his tracks with another tackle. Henshaw was trying to extricate himself from the ensuing ruck when Iribaren flung the ball back to Remi Tales for his attempted drop goal.

As that kick sailed left, he raised his arms and ran towards Rob Kearney in celebration. All the hurt and discomfort forgotten in the joy of victory.

Following the match, Henshaw walked stiffly in the mixed zone as he went from interview to interview but there was no indication at that stage that he would not play for Leinster again. He's made of tough stuff and he left it all out on that San Mames pitch.

It was no surprise, then, to hear from Leo Cullen that his conversation with Henshaw today took place in the Leinster gym. Straight back at it and circling another date on the calendar.