Belfast Telegraph

Ireland rugby star Henderson's team set to grow after baby news

Iain Henderson with wife Suzanne and their baby daughter Lana
Iain Henderson with wife Suzanne and their baby daughter Lana

By Gillian Halliday

Ireland and Ulster rugby star Iain Henderson is "absolutely delighted" after learning he is set to become a father for the second time.

Henderson, who has a toddler daughter, Lana - aged 17 months - with his wife Suzanne, made the announcement yesterday during a press conference in Tokyo ahead of Ireland's World Cup opening game against Scotland next Sunday.

The sportsman, who was announced as Ulster's new captain in July, was clearly overjoyed with the news that his family is to grow.

The good news was confirmed last night by Henderson's father-in-law, Jim Flanagan, a former Belfast Telegraph deputy editor and Sunday Life editor.

"The family are absolutely delighted," he said.

"This is the second grandchild for both sets of grandparents."

The new arrival is expected early next year and Mr Flanagan said his daughter Suzanne, who is a dentist, will be cheering on her husband from home.

"We are just all absolutely thrilled," he added.

Henderson (27) flew to Japan with his Ireland team mates - including team captain Rory Best - from Dublin Airport last Wednesday.

It will be a momentous tournament for them both: Best is retiring professionally from the sport after the World Cup and Henderson is likely to feature prominently in the line-up.

Henderson, who was announced as Best's successor as Ulster captain ahead of the 2019-20 season, lives with Suzanne in their family home just outside Lisburn.

The couple, who are childhood sweethearts, have been married for two years and are set to celebrate their second wedding anniversary this July. Henderson popped the question in 2016 on a beach during a romantic holiday in Miami, Florida.

Special individual portraits of each team member of the Ireland squad were recently released ahead of the start of the World Cup on Friday.

For his own portrait, Henderson chose to be with his young family for the photoshoot which was taken by sports photographer Billy Strickland.

Along with Suzanne and Lana, the rugby player was pictured with their two pet dogs Lola and Baily in the garden of their family home.

Henderson ready to step up and call the shots, Page 46

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