Saturday 25 November 2017

Major fitness boost for Iain Henderson and Ireland ahead of All Blacks test

Iain Henderson in action against Warren Whiteley of South Africa
Iain Henderson in action against Warren Whiteley of South Africa
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ireland have been handed a major boost with the news that Iain Henderson will train fully again this week and is set to be available for selection for Saturday’s mouthwatering rematch against New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium.

Henderson suffered a shoulder injury whilst playing Exeter Chiefs in the Champions Cup last month and after training last week, Joe Schmidt opted not to risk him for Saturday’s facile win over Canada.

The Ulster player faces stiff competition to force his way back into the reckoning, particularly on the back of Ultan Dillane’s man-of-the-match performance against the Canadians but his aggression could yet be crucial against the All Blacks.

Ireland team manager Mick Kearney reported no fresh injuries as the 37-man squad reconvened at their Carton House base. Munster pair Dave Kilcoyne and Darren Sweetnam have both returned to their province after spending last week with the national squad.

“Thankfully, there are no fresh injuries to report to you this afternoon,” Kearney said.

“It was quite a physical encounter against Canada on Saturday so a number of players are a little bit sore and they’ll be managed appropriately during the week, with their training load managed today.”

Johnny Sexton has shown no ill-effects from the cramp he suffered in Chicago. The out-half trained fully last week and like Henderson, is set to do so again this week.

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