"He was an absolute hero for the Munster team" - Rob Henshaw remembers Anthony Foley

Henshaw and Foley worked together at international level

BY Daniel Kelly 14:41 Monday 17 October 2016, 14:41 17 Oct 2016

Robbie Henshaw in action for the Ireland Wolfhounds in 2014. Anthony Foley was the team's head coach. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Anthony Foley and Rob Henshaw came from different generations.

While Henshaw spent his time watching Foley's playing career from the comfort of his sofa in Athlone, the Leinster centre got to spend some valuable time with the former Munster head coach in the Ireland set-up.

Speaking to Off the Ball's Dave McIntyre at an event in the Aviva Stadium, Henshaw was still in shock at the news that came from Paris on Sunday afternoon, but valued the brief time they spent together on the training pitch for Ireland.

"I had a couple of occasions with him", Henshaw revealed. "He was the forwards coach for my first cap over in the States when we played America and Canada. He did a bit of one-on-one work with me. He was an unbelievable coach, to help my game physically and around the tackle area. Around ruck time - that was his baby - that's where he was really good at coaching."

"He was head coach for me also, when I played against the Saxons, for the Irish Wolfhounds two years ago over in Gloucester. We had a good win that night. He was a really calm head coach. He had really good structures in place. We got a good result that night as well."

"It's so hard to take. I couldn't believe it yesterday when I heard. He was a gentleman off the pitch as well. It's a tragic loss for Munster rugby and for Irish rugby. He was an absolute hero for the Munster team."

While Henshaw never got to play against the Killaloe man, he understood how much the 42-year-old meant to Munster as a player, captain and coach.

"He was just an unbelievable competitor... His passion for the game came out with how he played it. I will always remember how he played in green and in red. He was definitely one of my heroes. My uncle and my dad loved him as well. It's a massive loss and a tough one to take."

You can listen to the interview tonight on Off the Ball, from 7pm.

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