Playing against SBW has been a career highlight for Robbie Henshaw

Henshaw faced Sonny Bill Williams in his Lions debut last week

BY Daniel Kelly 11:51 Monday 12 June 2017, 11:51 12 Jun 2017

Robbie Henshaw with Sonny Bill Williams of Blues Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Last Wednesday, Robbie Henshaw made his debut for the Lions.

On a bittersweet evening for the Ireland centre, he was part of the Lions team that suffered their first defeat on Tour, but he also got the opportunity to play against one of his heroes.

Blues centre Sonny Bill Williams starred in the 22-16 win for the Blues. He also scored a try in the game, and could feature for New Zealand  in the three-match Test series later in the tour.

The former Rugby league convert was Henshaw's opposite number in Eden Park. The two men even swapped jerseys after the match.


Proud of my @bluesrugbyteam brothers, respect to robbie and the lions boys.

A post shared by Sonny Bill Williams (@sonnybillwilliams) on

In an interview for the Lions website, Henshaw revealed the chance to meet and play against the World Cup winner has been the highlight of the tour so far.

"I am not going to lie, when I was growing up in secondary school, as a teenager, I was a massive fan of his. I loved how he played, with all his offloading skills. He showed it again on Wednesday at Eden Park unfortunately, he played bloody well though so fair play to him!"

"To go up against a player of his calibre is great but you try not to get distracted and focus on yourself and your own job. I will hopefully have to deal with him again further down the line in the Tests – please God all going well if I get picked – but that playing against him was certainly one of the highlights."

"And getting to chat to him afterwards as well was amazing, bouncing a few things off him, having a general chat and swapping jerseys was pretty cool."

"I was asking him how the body was after his injuries, and what he made of the game. They were a bit frustrated by the rain as well because they wanted to run it a bit more – just a few little things like that which make a Tour like so special."

Henshaw plays his second match on Tour on Wednesday. He has been named in the starting 15 to play the Highlanders in Dunedin.

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