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Rugby World Cup: Ireland star Iain Henderson relishing clash with Italian giant

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster's Iain Henderson is ready to rise to the challenge for Ireland in the Olympic stadium tomorrow when he takes on Italian legend Sergio Parisse with a place in the World Cup quarter-finals at stake.

The Italy captain, one of the best number 8s in the world, has overcome injury to play while Henderson returns to the Irish starting XV after being rested for last week's win over Romania.

Should Ireland triumph, as expected, they will be guaranteed a last eight spot with the final pool game against France to come next weekend.

Lock Henderson is well aware Parisse, one of the giants of the game, will do all he can to halt Ireland's progress.

"Having Parisse fit is a massive boost for them but we'll happily rise to the challenge," said Henderson, who excelled in Ireland's opening win against Canada.

"I've played against him two or three times already and will relish the opportunity of playing against him again. He's fantastic but there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to deal with him handily enough."

Henderson is joined by Ulster team-mates Tommy Bowe and Rory Best in the starting line-up, with Chris Henry on the bench, but Jared Payne misses out with a bruised foot.

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