Robbie Henshaw: "It's a massive, unbelievable experience and a privilege to be involved"

The Leinster centre is taking the positives from the PRO12 semi-final loss

Robbie Henshaw: "It's a massive, unbelievable experience and a privilege to be involved"

Robbie Henshaw. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw has described his inclusion on the Lions Tour as a "privilege" and is looking forward to fighting for his place on the test team.

The Leinsterman joined up with the squad earlier than expected after his side's shock loss against the Scarlets in the Guinness PRO12 semi-final at the RDS last weekend.

He spoke to the media and described his selection on the tour as "a massive, unbelievable experience and a privilege to be involved."

The Westmeath native played a pivotal role in Ireland's win over the All Blacks last November, scoring the match-winning fifth try for Joe Schmidt's men.

Looking ahead to the challenge this summer, he said: "when it gets down to it I am just really looking forward to getting out on the pitch and doing what we do best.

"I am here to back myself to go on and try and get in Test team. I will do my best to get into selection but just train away, put in the hard work and focus on the now. What happens with selection happens."

The surprise losses for both Leinster and Saracens in their respective domestic competitions has boosted Head Coach Warren Gatland's preparations for the tour with a number of key players now in Carton House earlier than expected.

"It has certainly taken my mind away from the weekend which was a big disappointment for us," he said, focusing on the positives, adding "but to take the distraction and focus on something else is good."

The tour is due to kick-off on the 3rd June against a Provincial Barbarians selection with the first test against New Zealand three weeks later.