ATHLONE's Robbie Henshaw has been named at full-back for tomorrow's Ireland Wolfhounds encounter with England Saxons in Galway (The Sportsground, 7.35pm, live coverage on RTE).
The Buccaneers clubman, 19, has excelled for Connacht in this season's RaboDirect Pro 12 League and the Heineken Cup - playing in all the province's 19 games - was last week included in Declan Kidney's 39-strong squad, which was selected on a preliminary basis ahead of Ireland's upcoming Six Nations Championship campaign.
Though Henshaw is thought unlikely to be selcted for the Six Nations this time around, there is no doubt his inclusion in the preliminary panel, and subsequent selection to start for the Wolfhounds, indicated he is currently in Kidney's thoughts when it comes to the senior team.
Speaking to the official IRFU website on Wednesday, Ireland assistant coach, Les Kiss, said of Henshaw: "We're really excited about his development. He had to step into the breach when they (Connacht) lost Gavin Duffy, and he was playing 13 earlier in the year. When he had to put his hand up for that, he's done an exceptional job."
Henshaw's rise to this level of rugby has been nothing short of amazing, with the Coosan native still playing schools' rugby last March, when he helped the Marist College, Athlone end its lengthy wait for the Connacht Schools' Senior Cup title.
Since then, Henshaw has also won a full-time professional contract with Connacht, and a very bright future awaits.
Ireland Wolfhounds team to face England Saxons:
Robbie Henshaw; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Dave McSharry, Luke Fitzgerald; Paddy Jackson, Paul Marshall; David Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, Michael Bent; Lewis Stevenson, Devin Toner; Kevin McLaughlin, Tommy O'Donnell, James Coughlin (c).
Replacements: Damien Varley, Tom Court, Declan Fitzpatrick, Iain Henderson, Rhys Ruddock, Isaac Boss, Ian Madigan, Ian Keatley