Robbie Henshaw a doubt for Ireland's November series

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© PA Images Italy: Italy vs Ireland

Ireland have been dealt a blow prior to the Autumn Nations Series with Leinster boss Leo Cullen revealing that Robbie Henshaw has picked up a foot injury.

While the Irish province’s other British and Irish Lions stars return to action against the Scarlets, the centre was a notable absentee from the teamsheet.

Cullen confirmed that Henshaw is highly unlikely to feature against Glasgow Warriors next Friday, which leaves just two weeks before their first game of the campaign against Japan.

“He has an issue with his foot and it’s just been a little slower than we would have thought,” Leinster’s head coach told reporters.

“So it’s unlikely he will play in this block but hopefully he won’t be too far behind after that. He’s such a key player, Robbie, for Ireland and Leinster, and I think you saw with the Lions as well. In the past he’s come back reasonably seamlessly off the back of breaks with the various different injuries that he’s had.

“He tends to come back in a good place. He’s training away but he’s just not able to play right now. I think once he’s back he’ll be able to go straight back in, whatever team that is with.”

Remembering the great Anthony Foley

Cullen also paid an emotional tribute to the great Anthony Foley, who died five years ago today.

Munster will mark the occasion with a commemoration when they take on Connacht at Thomond Park.

“It’s hard to believe, really,” Cullen said. “You’ve got me pretty emotional here now, I wasn’t expecting this one. He was the No 8 for the Irish Schools in ’92 whereas I was the No 8 for the Irish Schools in ’96. They had gone to New Zealand on their tour and we went to Australia four years later.

“Yeah, lots of similar things that we did in terms of career. He passed away at 42 and I’m currently 43 so I thought a lot about Axel when I was 42, to understand all the pressures and the rest of it that he came under. He’s in my thoughts a lot, Axel. I’m sure it will be a sad day for his family.

“I’m sure every day is but he was also an amazing character so hopefully everyone celebrates all the good things about Axel as well and what he did for the game and for the country as well, and especially Munster.

“He definitely had an effect on a lot of us but, yeah, somebody I would have watched. I admired him, seeing him play his first cap for Ireland and all the rest.”

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