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Henderson is fit and ready for All Blacks


by jonathan bradley

Ulster ace Iain Henderson was won his fitness race ahead of Ireland's massive meeting with New Zealand this weekend and is ready to take on the World champions if selected.

The powerful forward has not played since injuring his shoulder in the European Champions Cup last month, missing the historic win over the All Blacks in Chicago and last weekend's more routine victory over Canada.

Having trained fully throughout last week, Henderson (below) has been retained at Carton House by Ireland coach Joe Schmidt and will be hoping to press for selection before the team is announced on Thursday.

In missing the eight-try demolition of Canada, the 24-year-old had to watch on as Ultan Dillane, Peter O'Mahony and Sean O'Brien all stated their case for inclusion this weekend.

"Iain is available, he trained fully last week and he'll train fully this week again," said team manager Mick Kearney yesterday.

Meanwhile, Casement Park is expected to be included on the list of venues when Ireland formally launch their 2023 World Cup bid today, despite the on­going issues with plans to redevelop the Belfast venue.

GAA stadia are expected to back­bone the bid when it is unveiled at the Aviva Stadium, with the likes of MacHale Park, Semple Stadium and Croke Park likely to be included.

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