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How Andy Farrell's different approach with Ireland is a help, says Iain Henderson


Focused: Iain Henderson this week during Ireland training

Focused: Iain Henderson this week during Ireland training

�INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Focused: Iain Henderson this week during Ireland training

Ulster captain Iain Henderson has praised the early impact of new Ireland head coach Andy Farrell as the side prepare to welcome Wales to Dublin on Saturday (2.15pm kick-off).

Former defence coach Farrell made a winning start to life in the hot-seat with victory over Scotland to begin the Six Nations campaign last week and Henderson believes he is the man to help the Irish players get the best out of each other after last year's World Cup disappointment.

"There is a different mentality around the place," said Henderson who has been hand-picked to be a part of the squad's leadership group.

"There is a different mentality in meetings, there is a different relationship between players and coaches, there is a different relationship between players and players going over stuff together."

Henderson made his Ireland debut in 2012 under Declan Kidney and played the majority of his Test career under Farrell's predecessor Joe Schmidt.

The lock believes an "open learning system" will help the side moving forward.

"Everything that is done is done in a real positive manner to ensure that we are getting the best out of each other," he said.

"We're doing it to make each other better and ultimately to get a better result at the weekend and everyone knows that.

"Maybe in years gone by, guys might have been a wee bit tentative of who they went and asked questions to, or who they are trying to get clarity (from) for fear of people thinking they don't know their detail, they don't know stuff.

"But now a very open learning system has been put in place to ensure guys are free to get information whenever they want."

Henderson's words were echoed by team-mate Cian Healy, the side's loosehead prop who, like Henderson, is working under a third international coach.

"It's really open," said the Leinsterman. "You walk across to a coach and ask them to sit down with you for a few minutes and go through this with me and help me get some clarity.

"It's the same with players, grabbing each other and sitting at a computer or with a notebook saying 'what would you do here?' or 'what can I do to stop that?'

"We've had a different kind of review process too as we've broken it up more into different areas. A lot has been put onto the mini-groups to look after the smaller details of the scrum, the lineout and the breakdown."

Belfast Telegraph