Ulster’s Iain Henderson has red card rescinded

This red card against Iain Henderson was rescinded by a disciplinary panel
This red card against Iain Henderson was rescinded by a disciplinary panel

Irish international forward Iain Henderson is available for Ulster’s Guinness PRO12 title bid after having his red card against Munster overturned at an independent disciplinary committee hearing on Tuesday.

The backrow was sent off in the 73rd minute when it was deemed by the referee, Nigel Owens, he had made contact with the head of another opponent at a ruck.

The game finished 23-23 after Ulster scored a last gasp converted try agaisnt their provincial rivals.

At Tuesday’s hearing in Wales, the disciplinary hearing deemed that Henderson’s initial contact with his opponent “had not in fact been with his head but with his arm”.

The panel said it viewed the incident in close-up, adding that referee Nigel Owens had not been able to do this at the time.

It is a massive boost for Ulster ahead of Saturday’s clash with Glasgow in the final game of the regular PRO12 season, although the odds are against Ulster making a home semi-final in the play-offs a week later.

Ulster lie fourth in the table, a point behind second placed Glasgow who are level on points with leaders Ospreys and third placed Munster.

The top two finishers will receive home advantage for the semi-final ahead of the Grand Final which is being staged this year at the Kingspan Stadium, Belfast, on May 30.

For Ulster to gain a home semi-final they would either have to win against Glasgow and hope that Munster or Ospreys were beaten when they play NG Dragons or Connacht respectively.

A draw in Glasgow would give both the Scots and Ulster a homne semi, provided Munster and Ospreys got no match points in their games.