Henry, who combines his role as Belgium assistant manager with work for Sky Sports, is working on his coaching badges with the Football Association of Wales.
On Monday, the former striker took time out from his latest course to meet Howley’s men ahead of their clash with Ireland on Friday night. His presence left Wales’ players shocked but delighted as they prepared to face Joe Schmidt’s side.
“It was great to have a couple of the Welsh football management and Thierry come down and watch us train,” said Wales scrum-half fan Rhys Webb.
“It’s a bit surreal to have a legend like him around. I shook his hand and said hello but I don’t think he fancied catching a few box kicks.
Rhys Webb said it was great to have Thierry Henry pop down to their training
Wales suffered a shock defeat to Scotland last time out
“As soon as the forwards came down he disappeared. I think he must be a back!”
Wales made the most of Henry’s appearance by playing a quick game of football in Monday’s warm-up but Howley and his players will know they will have to be on the money against Ireland.
Alun Wyn Jones’ side have suffered back-to-back defeats against England and Scotland and are out of contention for this year’s title, but Webb is hoping Henry can be a good-luck charm.
“Thierry is certainly doing a job with Wales football, so hopefully he can bring us a little bit of luck on Friday night,” said Webb.
Webb said Thierry Henry fled as soon as the forwards came in for training
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“It’s been a good buzz around the hotel and the training sessions this week. Friday can’t come quick enough.”
A third straight loss for Wales would represent a disaster for Howley and leave his team needing to win away to France on the final weekend to avoid slipping out of the world’s top eight. The former scrum-half, who is in charge with Warren Gatland on British Lions duty, will know his side must improve against an Irish side who still have one eye on the championship crown.
Wales name their team today with Howley set to resist calls for change.
Taulupe Faletau and Luke Charteris, who both featured for Bath against Wasps last weekend, are pushing for starting spots, but Sam Davies is again likely to be on the bench.
Webb is set to go head-to-head with Conor Murray at Principality Stadium in a duel which could go a long way to deciding who wears the Lions No 9 jersey against New Zealand this summer.