Friday 18 October 2019

'When he does flip out it's to make us better' - Iain Henderson tells Jacob Stockdale not to take Johnny Sexton outburst personally

Johnny Sexton and (inset) Jacob Stockdale
Johnny Sexton and (inset) Jacob Stockdale

Harry Clarke

Iain Henderson has told Ulster team-mate Jacob Stockdale not to take it personally when he is at the end of a tongue lashing from Johnny Sexton.

Joe Schmidt's side struggled to a 26-16 win in Rome last Sunday and Sexton was caught on camera venting his anger after being replaced late on against Italy.

Stockdale dropped a pass from Sexton moments before the latter's departure and received a dressing down for his troubles, but that's par for the course according to Henderson.

"The number of times you see Johnny shouting or looking like he's angry, everyone has trained with him enough to know that he's not losing his head, it's just because he cares," said Henderson.

"When we've trained stuff and it doesn't go that way in games, he wants it to be perfect. He cares so much. He gets like that in training and you know it's for the greater good of the squad, his drive.

"Nearly all the players understand that. When he does flip out or having his shouting moment, it's to make us better. It's not personal. As a younger player in the squad, I got shouted at by Johnny loads of times.

"It used to get to me a wee bit, but I remember it being explained to me that he's doing it because he cares so much. He wants everything to go perfectly. When he does do it, it's a kick up the arse for us to get things right."

Henderson has made a quick recovery from a recent hand injury which has shown no ill effects since his return to full training.

International Rugby Newsletter

Rugby insights and commentary from our renowned journalists like Neil Francis, Will Slattery, Alan Quinlan & Cian Tracey.

"It has been great. Just a bit of precautionary strapping for a couple of weeks now so it gets as much support and stability as it needs, but I have had no problems with it, no problem training, gym, rugby, nothing.

"Yes (surprised to return so soon) given the initial timeline, and that was probably the longer end of what I wanted, it was all my aim to try and feed it back and get back a wee bit quicker than initially anticipated.

"Again it is down to the physios, S & C guys, and the surgeon, just constant work at it every day, getting it moving, getting range back and getting strength through both finger and thumb. It has been 100 per cent since."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Welcome to Irish rugby's biggest week - is an upset on the cards?

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport