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What Robbie Henshaw was inhaling as he left the field explained

By Ian Cameron

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Sadly for Irish fans and for the man himself, Robbie Henshaw appeared to do serious damage to his shoulder in the act of scoring a try in Ireland’s comfortable win over Italy at the Aviva Stadium.


After being treated on the pitch the Irish centre walked off, clutching his damaged arm in a makeshift sling. Henshaw could be seen inhaling some kind of substance from a pipe as he exited the pitch.

While for medical professionals it needs no explaining, for others sitting at home it was a point of discussion.

While commentator Martin Gillingham erroneously suggested it was oxygen, it was in fact a substance called methoxyflurane, which goes under the brand name of Penthrox.

Penthrox is an inhalational anaesthetic, which basically means it’s a breathable pain reliever, which is used to relieve acute pain at short notice. Many who have broken bones on a rugby pitch will have felt, or rather not felt, it’s anaesthetic effect.

A number of medics were quick to point it out on Twitter, including paramedic Ash Brownett.


The Ireland team continue to await news regarding Henshaw’s condition. He will be scanned today.

“We’ll know post a scan tomorrow [Sunday],” said Schmidt in a news conference. “We’ve got a scan booked for him.

“He looked in a fair bit of discomfort coming off. He’s a lot more comfortable now, which is promising, but what’s not promising is the degree of discomfort he was in.

“We’ll have an update hopefully later once he’s had that scan.”


RugbyPass caught up with Jacob Stockdale and Bundee Aki after the match.

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What Robbie Henshaw was inhaling as he left the field explained