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Deal or no deal: Hendo weighs up his options

IRFU eager to seal deal with Lion Iain

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster star Iain Henderson hopes to have his future resolved in the coming weeks with the British and Irish Lion's current deal expiring this summer.

Yet to agree terms with the IRFU on what would be the first central contract of his career, Henderson has drawn interest from England and France, and tying him down to fresh terms will be seen as imperative for both Ulster and Ireland.

The 25-year-old says he has left matters to his agent and is weighing up his options as he focuses on a key period of the season for Les Kiss's men.

"Actually I haven't spoken a huge amount about it the last few weeks," revealed the man who captained Ulster to a Champions Cup victory over Harlequins last weekend.

"I'd like to push it away and leave it to other people to sort out at the minute. With Europe, and being thrown in as captain at the end of last week, I'm just keeping my hands clean of all that and concentrating on this role. Hopefully it'll all be sorted soon."

Ahead of Friday night's second leg of the back-to-back with Harlequins (7.45pm kick-off), Henderson is again expected to skipper the northern province with Rory Best still absent, while Tommy Bowe has been added to the injury list after succumbing to a hamstring strain.

With Harlequins essentially out of Europe after last week's loss, and Ulster requiring victory to aid their quarter-final hopes, Henderson is taking nothing for granted.

"One thing we've spoken about already this week is, they're more or less out of the competition and that's the most dangerous thing that can happen.

"They're going to come back and they're not just going to turn up, roll over and play dead."

DOUBLING UP: Pages 54-55

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