Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Henderson gets the okay for big Euro showdown

Iain Henderson could be set for a quick Ulster return

Ulster breathed a huge sigh of relief after learning that the injury to Iain Henderson is nothing like as serious as at first feared.

Less than 24 hours after coach Mark Anscombe admitted his concern that the 6ft 6in lock/back row forward could be out for the rest of the season, tests on the player's left foot ligament injury confirmed a sprain rather than a tear.

That means Henderson – who already has five Ireland caps despite having just turned 21 last month – should be available for Ulster's Heineken Cup quarter-final with Saracens at Twickenham on April 6.

An Ulster Rugby statement, issued on Wednesday night, read: "Following a scan in Dublin on Sunday, he underwent an x-ray in Belfast yesterday. There it was confirmed that he has suffered soft-tissue damage."

Currently the ligament is inflamed, hence Henderson's discomfort. But that can be treated and with nothing more serious than soft tissue damage, Ulster anticipate a full recovery ahead of that crucial European clash, now little over two weeks away.

He may even get some game time against Leinster at the RDS on Easter Saturday evening.

"Finally some good news on the injury front," a Ravenhill insider said. "It's a lot better than we'd thought."

Meanwhile, only four Ulster boys have made the 26-strong Ireland Schools' squad for the FIRA/AER Under-18 European Championship.

The team, sponsored by PwC, will compete in Grenoble, France from tomorrow, when they face Georgia (7pm), until Saturday week and having been European champions in 2011, the Irish will be expected to make an impact.

The 2011 side which beat England in the final included Ulster's Stuart Olding and Connacht's Robbie Henshaw, both now making the grade as professionals.

Three of Ulster's representatives are Methody forwards who featured in Monday's Danske Schools' Cup final victory over RBAI – tight-head Michael Lagan, lock Alex Thompson and No 8 James Gallagher. The fourth is Campbell College's Jack Owens.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre