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Henshaw looking forward to Lions' challenge

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    11 May 2017     Getty Images

Henshaw, 23, has made his mark in the Ireland midfield and hasn't been slow in seeking out advice from former Irish Lions well used to playing in the midfield, Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy.

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He told lionsrugby.com, "I've met both during the year for a catch-up about their experiences; in particular Brian has been really good, his experience alone is invaluable.

"I picked their brains a bit. They said just coming out of your shell was one of the main things mentioned – not to be too shy, to mingle with everyone and get to know the lads and have good craic with them as well.

"They said, 'Enjoy it, do what you usually do and execute everything to the best you can'," he said.

It also helps that his centres partner for Ireland Jared Payne is a New Zealander with plenty of advice about what to expect in his homeland.

Having been such a key contributor to Ireland's first win over the All Blacks in 29 attempts, Henshaw was also involved in the return game where the All Blacks extracted their revenge a fortnight later in Dublin.

Because of that experience he was well aware that the job for the Lions in New Zealand will be as much a mental battle as a physical one.



"The first game I played them we got that historic win, so it's one out of two, the second one didn't go so well," he said.

"It's going to be similar down there. We know we have to get off to a good start and hopefully do the business. Mentally we need to be prepared, it's going to be a mental battle out there."

More than anything, however, Henshaw said he was looking forward to watching and learning from the players alongside him in the squad, the best of the best across the four home nations.

"Hearing from the boys who have toured before, the training sessions are top class.

"I'm really looking forward to playing with the other guys. It'll be different because I've played against all the guys from the other countries, so to actually play with them and get to know them is the most exciting part.

"That's the thing I'm looking forward to," he said.