Robbie Henshaw has praised the impact of the fans supporting the Irish rugby team in Japan, saying the travelling support has been “unbelievable from the get-go.”
Speaking on the IRFU official social media accounts to promote the Keep Rugby Clean campaign, Henshaw went on to say: “I think the Scottish game they were there, unbelievably (it was) like a home game, even in the Japan game they were there in spirit as well and last week was probably the most evident of how important they are for us.
“We really feed off their positivity and their support so yeah, we’re just looking forward to building again this week and we’ll need them in full voice behind us again this week.”
The behaviour of the Irish fans has already garnered plenty of compliments, and Henshaw was happy to add to that, saying: “They seem to be getting on well with the local people here which is also a great thing.
“Anytime we bump into the supporters they are always very encouraging and supportive so it’s great to see, everyone’s on such a good buzz and great positivity all around.”
Providing an update on the team’s activities, the Leinster centre told viewers that a surfing trip gave some members of the squad a welcome change of scenery.
“A few of us ended up going to a beach about an hour away and we gave a stab at a surf.
“We’ve been in cities and we’ve been surrounded by concrete a lot so it was nice to get out to the coastline, get in for a dip in the sea and just change things up.”
The downtime between games affords the players with the chance to see what the host nation has to offer, an opportunity that Henshaw has wasted no time in taking up.
“We’ve been getting to get around and see what’s happening and do quite a lot of touristy things on our days off so we’ve definitely been getting involved and seeing what’s out there.”
Speaking about the Keep Rugby Clean campaign, which aims to educate players at all levels about the use of supplements and falling foul of doping laws, Henshaw stressed the importance of being well-informed on the matter.
“People are regularly tested and we want to keep the sport clean at the end of the day so I suppose for us it’s to encourage it to the younger generation coming through the ranks and make sure that we ultimately keep the sport clean.”
One of the key messages of the campaign is “if it works it’s probably banned, if it’s not banned then it probably doesn’t work,” warning players that supplements are not regulated and often carry hidden risks.
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