Ulster’s Iain Henderson remains on Schmidt’s radar

Ulster's Iain Henderson
Ulster's Iain Henderson

Lock Iain Henderson starts for Ulster on Friday night at Ravenhill against Scarlets in the RaboDirect PRO12 where his performance will be under scrutiny from the Ireland management.

Henderson enjoyed a cameo appearance for Ireland when he came off the bench three weeks ago in the 28-6 win over Scotland.

Although he was not included in the matchday squad at all for the Welsh game in Dublin last week, he came back into the mix for selection after teammate Dan Tuohy suffered a broken arm.

Ireland coach, Joe Schmidt, made reference to Henderson – along with others on the periphery of the squad – as being in with a shout of making a return to the panel again.

“The fact that Iain can play both lock and backrow gives options,” Schmidt said.

The Irish coach watched Henderson give an impressive display for Ulster when he came on for the second half of last week’s PRO12 10-7 win over Ospreys.

However, Schmidt is likely to be at the RDS in Dublin on Friday night watching Leinster play Dragons – but he will no doubt watch a recording of the Ulster match as he considers his options ahead of next week’s trip to England in the Six Nations.