Sunday 4 December 2016

Ireland's most destructive ball carrier is tantalisingly close to a return to action

Published 22/03/2016 | 20:20

Ireland lock Iain Henderson is tackled by Kyle Gilmour of Canada during their World Cup Pool D opener in Cardiff on Saturday
Ireland lock Iain Henderson is tackled by Kyle Gilmour of Canada during their World Cup Pool D opener in Cardiff on Saturday

Bulldozing Ulster second row Iain Henderson should be fit to make his injury comeback away to Glasgow this Friday night in the Pro12.

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After an exceptional 2015 that saw him contribute hugely to Ireland's World Cup campaign, Henderson has been sidelined since December with a hamstring tear. The injury meant that he was ruled out of the entire Six Nations and Ireland really missed his rampaging runs in attack.

Although only 24, Henderson has quickly established himself as one of Ireland's most valuable players, and with a three-test summer tour against the notoriously physical Springboks upcoming, Joe Schmidt will be delighted that the lock is almost fit again.

Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss gave a positive update to the BBC this afternoon, saying that if Henderson can come through training unscathed this week, he should be involved in the crucial league encounter on Good Friday.

"Iain is getting closer and could play this week," Kiss said.

"We will see how things look on Wednesday when we get feedback from the training sessions."

Henderson has won 20 caps for Ireland and scored two tries, but with the recent retirement of Paul O'Connell, the Ulsterman should become a regular fixture in the side in the near future. And after Connacht second row Ultan Dillane's similarly explosive cameos in the 2016 Six Nations, the prospect of pairing the duo together is very enticing for Irish supporters.

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