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I want to stay and inspire Ulster to success, vows Iain

 

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster, Ireland and British & Irish Lions lock Iain Henderson has promised he won't be letting upcoming contract negotiations play on his mind as his season kicks off against the Dragons at Kingspan Stadium tonight (7.35pm).

The 25-year old has become one of Ulster's stars since he signed his last deal back in 2015, playing a key role at the World Cup later that year and returning from this year's Lions tour unlucky not to get a Test cap.

With a central IRFU contract in the offing, and negotiations between the Union and his agent set to begin in the Autumn, Henderson believes the situation will be less a distraction than an incentive.

"You can use it as an incentive to play well, find the form to convince people," said Henderson (left).

The 32-times capped forward admitted that, in an ideal world, he'll be staying with the province.

"You'd struggle to find anyone who played rugby in Ulster schools, played their club rugby at an Ulster club, who wouldn't want to stay," he added.

Henderson will be making his 2016/17 Ulster bow from the bench tonight while Charles Piutau returns from injury.

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