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Wounded Ulster must fight back, says Henderson


By Jonathan Bradley

With Iain Henderson believing that Ulster are back at square one following a chastising inter-pro series, the Irish international says it's time to front up and offer a much-needed battling performance against La Rochelle at Kingspan this afternoon (1.00pm).

The northern province would take over top spot in their Champions Cup pool with a win against the French side, but have been facing a storm of criticism after heavy losses to Connacht and Leinster in recent weeks.

"I think there's a lot of hard work to be done," said the lock. "I think we're just at a rocky crossing so to speak, we just have to make sure we get to the other side.

"It's not an overnight fix, it's something we're going to have to work on for the next couple of weeks. We just need to make sure we keep plugging away and we'll come out of this better."

Recent results have certainly been hard to stomach.

"You don't feel right," he added. "You don't feel good in training. You feel like you've been knocked off track a bit.

"Players have to understand what it really means and what they can do to make it better. We're back to square one again.

"We need a proper performance. I'm not talking about winning or scoring 50 points, I'm saying a team performance, solid in defence and attack and sealing up a lot of those leaks that we've had.

"I think that's vital for us. We need to face them and front up."

Embattled Director of Rugby Les Kiss has brought John Cooney back in a bold team selection.

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