Ulster and Ireland flanker Chris Henry believes there is a lot more to come from Iain Henderson after both started in Ireland’s 47-6 win over Italy at the Aviva Stadium.
Henderson was making his first Six Nations start and put in a typical robust performance.
Henry said: “I think he was disappointed with a few of his carries but overall what a talent this guy has.
“He’s an absolute freak at the age of 22 and there’s plenty more to come from him.
“I love playing with Iain he creates things from nothing, he’s so dynamic and what a massive future,” said Henry.
Ireland led 10-7 going into the last minute of the first half before Andrew Trimble scored in the corner and Henry believed that was the turning point of the game.
“They are championship minutes as Joe talks about, then at end of first half and the start of the second half we tried to up the ante and tried to up the pace and I think we definitely did that.”
“I think whenever you try to attack and be as positive as that you make mistakes, so overall we’re relatively happy.”
While it was played down during the week Henry admitted the squad wanted to give Brian O’Driscoll the prefect send off as he finished his home international career.
“I think that Brian’s last game at home was a massive factor, we wanted to make sure we put in a big performance for him and what a special day that was.”
“It wasn’t talked about (in the build-up) and I think Brian wouldn’t have let it be talked about, for us it was all about getting the result and getting the performance.”
“Whenever he came off after 60 minutes, I’ve never heard noise like it, anyone who was playing was very lucky and it was something you’ll definitely remember for a long time being able to play with Brian on his last game here.”
Italy put up stubborn resistance for the first 40 minutes before Ireland cut loose and ran in five second half tries.
“At the start of the game it was pretty crazy the amount of phases we were getting but that was very positive for us we knew we had to go out and attack.”
“I think we knew we would have to grind a side like Italy down and it was never going to be a walkover or be very easy especially when they got the turnover try.”
“It was against the run of play but it gave them some life and at half-time it was 17-7 and we came in and knew we’d just have to up the ante.”
“It was great we were able to play so much attacking rugby and then the bench really made a massive difference which they’ve thrown throughout the tournament, so, lots of positives but a lot of work ons as usual.”
A win in Paris on Saturday will see Ireland win the championship for the first time since 2009 but even though France have stumbled through the tournament Henry is preparing for a huge battle.
“We saw at Twickenham how close it was and it’s probably going to be like that again and it’s Stade de France a very intimidating place I’ve never played there but I was there as 25th man before, it’s some stadium and we’ll have to face a real tough team.”
“We needed to get the points difference but we didn’t talk about it though it was in the back of our minds and the fact that if there was a 50/50 chance the chances were that we’d go down the line because we knew we had to rack up the points.”
“For us to score some good tries is another positive and we can take a lot of confidence from it.”
“It’s going to be very hard but if we play the way we can we have the ability to beat any team.”
“We’ve got to have that in our psyche and for us to finish off this Championship we’ve talked about it in the changing room we haven’t won anything.”
“For me, what a perfect way to end with Brian’s last game to win something.”
“Beating Italy, it was brilliant and special but next week it’s all there for us and I think Brian will be saying that on Saturday the most important thing is getting the win.”